Mitchell Trubisky’s critics are continuing piling on the Chicago Bears quarterback.
The Chicago Bears underperformed in 2019. There were high hopes going into the season after winning the NFC North in 2018. A double-doink ended that season but there was a lot of hope that 2019 would be a better season.
That didn’t happen. The Bears limped into the end of the season with a record of 8-8. The offense struggled, ranking 29th in points scored. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could not get the offense going for whatever reason. Yes, you can point to the offensive line and the running game, but he himself had trouble hitting wide-open receivers and reading the defense properly.
When you’re the starting quarterback, you get the brunt of the blame when things go wrong. Trubisky has certainly gotten a lot of blame.
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Trubisky has had as tough of an offseason as he did in the 2019 season. At the end of the season press conference, general manager Ryan Pace told everyone that the Bears would go into the 2020 season with Trubisky as the starter. He reiterated that at the NFL Combine. Then he went out and overhauled the offensive coaching staff, then traded for Nick Foles, a quarterback who is familiar with the new coaching staff. Now many people feel that Foles will supplant Trubisky as the starter.
Weeks ago, the Bears decided not to pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option. That option was for $24.8 million. Pace still insisted that the team still has faith in the embattled quarterback. They could still franchise him or sign him to a long-term deal if he plays well, however.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote that Trubisky was one of the NFL’s losers this offseason. Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms recently announced his top 40 quarterbacks for 2020. He ranked Trubisky 38th. There was even a report that Trubisky was the worst deep-ball thrower in the league.
Trubisky criticized by a Chicago Bears great
Receiving criticism is part of the job. Also, getting it from national analysts make it hit softer. They don’t know how things are around the Chicago Bears.
Now, however, Trubisky is getting hit by a former Bears great. Olin Kreutz played 14 NFL seasons, 13 of them as a center for the franchise. From 2001-06 he was a Pro Bowl player. In 2006, he was an All-Pro. He is currently an analyst in Chicago.
Kreutz was on the Hoge and Jahns podcast and expressed his criticism of Trubisky as well. He felt that center James Daniels suffered because of Trubisky’s inability to read defenses. Daniels took over at center at the beginning of the season in a switch with Cody Whitehair. The switch lasted just eight games and the coaching staff moved them back to their original positions.
Kreutz felt moving the players back signaled a failure by Daniels. He’s a big Daniels supporter, though, and he felt it was more Trubisky than Daniels, via Heavy.com:
If they moved you, you’re not doing well at your job. No matter what the coach says, you’re not doing well. That’s mostly because Mitch was struggling with protection schemes and picking things up. Now, Mitch goes on stage and says: ‘Well, Cody is great at this,’ which basically means James is bad at that. That can strain a relationship. I don’t know if it did. I don’t know if it didn’t.
For his part, Trubisky liked the change back when the Bears made it, via the Chicago Tribune:
Cody does a great job, having him back there. He’s a really big leader for this offense and this offensive line. He’s really good with communicating, helping those young guys to the sides of him now, and we have really good chemistry, me and him.
With Whitehair at center, Trubisky doesn’t have to come up with the protection schemes. Whitehair is a veteran and has a close relationship with Trubisky. Daniels is still young and needs to depend on Trubisky to help him. That’s a bad idea if the quarterback cannot read defenses.
This is just another hit to Trubisky as he battles to keep his starting spot. Although he will hit the field with the other starters, things are stacked against him. As I mentioned, Foles knows the system and the coaches. He was in Philadelphia when Nagy was there and the two were in Kansas City as well. He’ll push Trubisky hard and just might unseat him.