The Mitchell Trubisky era in Chicago did not go as well as anyone was hoping. But, for the most part, Bears fans had the back of a player whose struggles were pronounced and put under a microscope to be dissected at every turn. And it takes a lot of gumption to stand in support of a player who might as well have had one foot out the door.
However, this can’t feel good to read if you’re a Bears backer:
Trubisky on signing with #Bills
"Nice to be in a place where people want you and care about you progressing as a person and a player."
— Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) August 10, 2021
Imagine being a Trubisky supporter and reading that statement. Ouch.
Heck, let’s take it a step further. Imagine being a Bears front office member or coach reading that statement. Double ouch.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand why Trubisky might feel some ill-will toward the Bears. Remember how last year went? The year began with him as an unquestioned starter, only to see the team flirt with numerous upgrades before settling on a trade for Nick Foles. Trubisky was given the keys to start in Week 1, only to be sent to the bench in the middle of Week 3. After his demotion, Trubisky had to watch the offense go backward (while injured, too) while Foles was running the show. And at the end of the year, Trubisky was a playoff starter after taking over for an injured and ineffective Foles.
Writing that was a chore, so I can’t imagine how playing through it must have felt for Trubisky.
And yet, I can’t shake the feeling that Trubisky is writing some revisionist history with his statement. Not to mention doing so while painting with the stroke of a broad brush. Do you remember what the Bears did during Trubisky’s time in Chicago? Because I do…
They hired Matt Nagy, who – in the moment – was one of the hottest head-coaching candidates serving as a coordinator at the time. Andy Reid said he was the most ready of any assistant to work under him. In the years to come, Chicago would retain Trubisky’s position coach, Dave Ragone, then make a bunch of hires with him in mind. The team brought in quarterback whisperers Brad Childress, Mark Helfrich, Bill Lazor, and John DeFilippo over the years. The Bears also had Peyton Manning give the QBs a pep talk. So much of what was done was for the betterment of Trubisky. Let’s not forget this.
But more than that, let’s remember that Chicago really went all-in on maximizing his rookie contract window. GM Ryan Pace spent handsomely in free agency on pass-catchers Allen Robinson II, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton in 2018. The team also invested second-round picks on receiver Anthony Miller and offensive lineman James Daniels. And on the other side of the ball, Chicago fortified its defense by acquiring Khalil Mack. The Mack move was seen as an announcement of the Bears opening their competitive window. And in the years that came after, the Bears invested, re-invested, and kicked the can down the road in an attempt to max out Trubisky’s time with the team.
Ultimately, Trubisky didn’t perform to the lofty expectations that come with being the second overall pick, so the Bears moved on. As much as football is a game, it’s also a business. And when business decisions don’t pan out, teams pivot. I’ll be curious to see what is said ahead of the Bears’ preseason Week 2 battle against the Bills. But if Trubisky’s perspective is any indication, it might not be pretty.