It has become painfully clear that Mitch Trubisky isn’t the guy.
That sentence was decidedly NOT written solely because the Bears lost to the Chiefs last night. It would be irresponsible to allow one game to shift how you feel about a player or team. And in the real world, one game isn’t going to sway the thinking of an entire organization. But that doesn’t mean it can’t serve as a tipping point – a final straw, even. And if the Bears are allowing themselves to be honest about their quarterback situation, last night’s showing on Sunday Night Football might be just that.
But here’s the catch … the Bears aren’t going to give up on Trubisky. And because there is no additional financial/salary cap flexibility to be gained by cutting him, Chicago isn’t going to just drop him like a bad habit. Even if they did, that would solve only part of their quarterback problem.
At a higher level, Chicago’s front office needs to re-evaluate their entire quarterbacking process. All of it. Every crevice, nook, and cranny. It needs to be an all-encompassing deep dive into the position. From top to bottom. This needs to be a complete tear-down and rebuild of the position group. Everything from the players, coaches, scouts, evaluation techniques, processes, language … everything. Any part that led the Bears to where they are today with this quarterback situation needs to be under the microscope, put through the wringer, picked apart, analyzed, and evaluated.
I am a believer that good process leads to good results, and as the folks at NBC reminded us last night, Bears haven’t had good results at the quarterback position since Sid Luckman hung ’em up. Therefore, the only conclusion that can be made is that the process hasn’t been good either. After all, how good can a process be when it doesn’t even put you in a spot to consider having dinner with Deshaun Freakin’ Watson. Hence, the time has come to put it all on the table and sort through it. And do so immediately without hesitation or reservations.
Or as GM Ryan Pace would probably say, do it with conviction.
Sunday’s performance displayed to a national audience what we have been frustrated by for quite some time. You could tell when Trubisky heard footsteps and felt pressure that wasn’t there, which led to his patented poor decision-making (it’s not good when the best-case scenario is watching a ball sail out of bounds). It was evident when Trubisky was making pre-determined throws because of an inability to read a defense or an unwillingness to take time and scan the secondary for options. And even in the moments when a successful play was drawn up, Trubisky was dialed in, and everything had fallen into place, there were more misfires than accurate throws. That deep pass to Allen Robinson that should have been a 40+ yard touchdown connection will haunt every Bears fan who watched last night’s game.
Three years into the Trubisky experience and we are still looking at a player whose athleticism and arm talent show up only in flashes and ultimately take a back seat to moments of poor decision-making, which stop offensive drives dead in their tracks.
And to think, there were real, tangible reasons for the Bears and their fans to believe that Mitch Trubisky was going to take another step forward in 2019.
It was reasonable to believe Trubisky could continue growing after improving from his rookie season to Year 2 as a pro. Not only did he show strides of improvement in the second half of the regular season, Trubisky was putting in the work in the offseason to the point where he wouldn’t vacation anywhere he couldn’t work out. There was no denying that the arrow was pointing up. Even coaches, scouts, and front office types around the league were starting to envision a breakout season for Trubisky in Year 3. And since the buzz was coming from the same group who were buying the Patrick Mahomes hype around the same time the season before, it further fueled the fires of hope that. Months later, those hopes have been extinguished.
If the Bears can cast a world-wide net to find a kicker, they should be able to do so for the most important position in all of sports. And if they don’t, they will be doing a disservice to themselves, their fans, and most importantly, the other players on the 53-man roster. All things being equal, the evaluation period should already be under way.