Matt Nagy is arguably the most important person at Halas Hall right now.
And that’s not just because the players aren’t back in the building.
As the Chicago Bears’ head coach, Nagy is tasked with getting the most out of quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the rest of an underperforming offense. And while issues remain along the offensive line, with the running game, and throughout the group of pass catchers, a quarterback is the singular tide who can lift all ships and make everyone around him better. And in the end, Nagy has the biggest hand in developing Trubisky into that guy.
With that being said, Nagy knows of one area in which Trubisky needs to improve in order to jump start the offense.
“For him, I think the processing part … it has to get to a point where you’re so obsessed, no matter what you’re doing, you’re always watching film,” Nagy said during his Tuesday press conference.
It’s a statement that vibes with what he’s previously said about how Trubisky needs to master reading coverages and defenses thrown his way. And honestly, it’s a statement that lines up with what outside Bears observers have seen throughout three uneven years of quarterback play.
And then there’s Ryan Pace, who, when listing strengths he sees in Trubisky during his press conference, highlighted something his coach noted as a weakness.
“I think he’s accurate. He’s athletic. He can process. His work ethic. How he is as a teammate.”
There is no quibbling with Pace’s assessment of Trubisky’s work ethic, which has been on display since being drafted. Images of Trubisky lingering after practice to work with reserve centers to master handling snaps from under center and throwing to down-the-depth-chart receivers just to get some extra throwing work in because Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez hogged the largest shoes of the reps are still fresh in my mind. And player support for Trubisky never wavered last season, even in the darkest times. Heck, Prince Amukamara recently said he was still all-in on Trubisky as the Bears’ QB1 this winter.
But those three words — “he can process” — stand out as something that is said when two guys who should be on the same wavelength aren’t.
Here’s the thing. The only person arguably more important than Nagy or Trubisky is Pace, who is ultimately responsible for bringing in the pieces to improve his team around his head coach and quarterback. But what if quarterback happens to be a piece that needs to be upgraded? If Pace truly believes in Trubisky’s processing power, it is tough to envision him bringing in legitimate competition for the depth chart. But by doing so, he would be discounting the words of a head coach who views his quarterback’s inability to process as a hurdle that needs to be cleared.
To be clear, the Bears have needs beyond the quarterback position. As currently constructed, Chicago isn’t one quarterback away from being the competitive team it believes it can be in 2020. But if you’re not addressing the quarterback position properly, perceived competitive windows can be closed quicker than previously expected. Hence, the importance of both sides being on the same page. It’s not as if there isn’t time for parties to get on the same track, but actions via the trade market, in free agency, and on NFL Draft weekend will ultimately tell us more than a pair of press conferences.