This is really going to hurt some Mitchell Trubisky narratives out there, but in a recent poll of NFL scouts, the Chicago Bears’ third year QB was picked as their player most likely to breakout in 2019.
Which begs the question; Can a player coming off a Pro Bowl appearance “breakout?”
If you ask some Bears’ fans, they’d say Trubisky already broke out with 230 passing yards per game, a 66.6 completion percentage, 24 touchdowns, a 95.4 passer rating, and a 72.8 QBR during the 2018 season.
But as Bears’ fans, we also know the disrespect towards Chicago's franchise QB is real. Not only with fans from other teams, but in the numerous hatchet-jobs done from some members of the media. I mean, the ‘Trubisky can’t throw left’ bullshit narrative still rears its head from time to time.
Do these dopes not know that we can pull the stats form him throwing to his left and PROVE he’s capable?
“Hindsight is always perfect, right, but I loved him [coming out]. He was so accurate, crisp and athletic. [North Carolina] didn’t utilize his legs enough. I think (head coach Matt) Nagy will open that up more this year,” one AFC scouting director said about Trubisky via the Bleacher Report.
Scouts point towards Nagy, his coaching, and his scheme as reasons why Trubiksy is going to breakout this season. I’ve detailed how quarterbacks in the second year of a similar system achieve a boost in play, so I’ve been anticipating a bigger breakout in 2019 as well.
A year ago, NFL scouts picked Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as their 2018 breakout candidate, and we all know how he did last season. The league MVP flourished in his second year working in the Andy Reid West Coast Offense, the same offense that coach Reid taught coach Nagy during their time together, and don’t forget that Mahomes also benefited form the teachings from his QB coach/offensive coordinator in 2017, Matt Nagy.
Another running narrative is that the Bears traded up for the wrong quarterback in 2017. This one is mostly pushed by media members (and some fans) that desperately want to be right about their early Trubisky takes, but the reality is that no one thought Mahomes would look this incredible. Trubisky was the top rated quarterback by several outlets, and I can’t think of any analysts that had Mahomes atop their big boards that year. So, with every QB available, general manager Ryan Pace moved up to take Trubiksy second overall, over Mahomes (10th overall) and Deshaun Watson (12th overall).
Pace had conviction that Trubisky was his guy and he made his move, and even though he was drafted while the John Fox regime was still in charge, Pace had to have an inkling that he’d have his modern offensive coach the following season.
Enter Matt Nagy.
“Obviously, Mahomes and Watson would fit what Matt does,” one of Nagy’s former co-workers said, “but Trubisky works so well for that scheme because he can run the RPO stuff, and he’s solid enough to take some hits. You don’t have to worry about him getting banged up as much as you would a Watson or Lamar Jackson or Alex Smith.”
During their second seasons, all three of the 2017 top of the draft class quarterbacks made the Pro Bowl, so I wonder if the narrative will ever change form the Bears picked the wrong guy, to the Bears picked one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
Everything is in place for Trubisky to breakout even bigger this year and make a return to the Pro Bowl. His offense returns mostly intact, with the only change being a scheme upgrade at the running back position, and Chicago’s top ranked defense is back to help ensure the offense will be working with short fields from time to time.
If the on-field stuff wasn’t enough for me to expect a big 2019 for Trubisky, his work ethic, his leadership, his demeanor, and the way the entire Bears’ team, from the players to the coaches to the front office all believe in him just boosts my expectations even more.
This season is shaping up to be a special one for the Bears.