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Bears mailbag: Victory celebration, Concerns about Mitchell Trubisky and potential trades?

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The Chicago Bears are no longer winless after a wild finish in Denver last Sunday. Despite evening their record, should there be concern for this team’s ceiling in 2019? That and more in Week 3’s mailbag.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, the Chicago Bears are working off an extended few days of rest. At least this time around, they evened up their record at (1-1) and will be looking to move over (.500) with a win on Monday night in Washington against the Redskins.

Despite last Sunday’s win in Denver, many fans are still skeptical about this team’s ceiling for 2019. I’m not sure I can blame them after the two offensive performances we’ve seen so far. With that in mind, it took the Bears three weeks before the offense really got going last year, so not all hope is lost yet.

With that in mind, let’s jump into this week’s mailbag that is loaded with more than just questions about quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

I’m not sure that Trubisky’s overall instincts are the current problem for the young quarterback. At least for me, I think that has more to do with the mental side of the game, in terms of confidence than anything else.

I would actually argue that Trubisky’s instincts are one of his better qualities. Just look at what he’s able to do when he goes out there and simply has to drive the ball down the field in game winning situations. We’ve seen the flashes. Whether it was against Baltimore in his rookie year to set up the game winning field goal or his final drive in the playoff game last year. Even as recent as his final throw last Sunday in Denver.

I think his issue is simply thinking too much. Whether that’s him trying to be too perfect or simply not trusting his instincts. Trubisky has shown when he doesn’t have time to think is when he’s best. Now, how to fix that problem is the million dollar question and one that will be key for him having a successful career as the franchise quarterback of this team. Hopefully over time both Trubisky and Matt Nagy will be able to figure it out but at this point, Nagy is going to play a big part in getting him back to where he was last year and beyond that point in the future.

I think one of the bigger issues I’m seeing with this offense is not getting up to the line quick enough and then what happens post-snap. I’m not sure how much a play calling arm hand would help that out, but I also don’t think it would hurt at this point.

Trubisky’s biggest issue hasn’t come pre-snap, though. At least, in my opinion. It’s diagnosing what the defense is doing after the ball is snapped and more importantly, him overthinking what he already knows. I’m not sure if an armband fixes that and overall, I’m not sure how the team can fix it, if they will.

That’s not me saying that I’m giving up on Trubisky or that the Bears should. I just don’t really have a precise answer for what exactly he can do to improve his game post-snap but again, I’m not sure how much anything pre-snap will change that either.

At this point, I think we have to look at the overall performance of the offense, especially from the quarterback perspective.

Through two weeks, Trubisky has 348 total passing yards. Just for reference, there have been a few quarterbacks that have topped that mark in one of the first two weeks alone. I also think you have to look at the target shares and right now, Allen Robinson owns those with 20 of the team’s 72 targets. Tarik Cohen is next with 15 and has 10 receptions on those targets for a whopping 56 yards. So that’s not ideal.

I think part of it has been the design of the offense. Another aspect is that Trubisky clearly has a good connection with Robinson and he always seems to be open when the quarterback gets the ball out.

With that all being said, clearly this cannot continue the way it has. I would expect over the next few weeks that we’ll start seeing other receivers more and more involved, but I would also expect that Robinson will remain heavily targeted because that’s just how things ended last year as well.

The one player I’m really wanting to see something out of- Anthony Miller. His snap count doubled in Week 2 (even though no one could really tell). He’s the X-factor to really getting this offense going, in my opinion.

I’ve felt all along that the Bears usage of Cordarrelle Patterson will be sporadic from week-to-week. Much like his role with the New England Patriots last year, it’s going to be game plan specific and soon enough, he’ll start being a factor as a kick returner as well.

Patterson has value to the offense and frankly, has been on the field a little more than I expected. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I think the game plan for the Redskins should call for a lot of vertical passing. Establish the run early and attack downfield. Washington’s passing defense is one of the worst statistically right now. This is the week the Bears should try to exploit that.

That doesn’t mean that Patterson can’t be involved, but he doesn't have the most consistent of hands and never really developed as a route runner. So I don’t expect to see a ton of action down the field for him, but as a running back we could see some creative run opportunities from him. I’m right there with you, though. Haven’t been remotely impressed with Mike Davis so far.

I was slightly surprised to see the Bears trying out a group of edge rushers this week. It’s normal for teams to have tryouts from week-to-week, but that’s not the position group I would have expected to see.

Out of those names, I was the most interested in Noah Spence, who ended up signing elsewhere. I know a lot of fans are still enamored with Shane Ray due to his draft status, but he’s been basically a non-factor in his four-year career and there’s a reason none of these guys were signed.

As far as Taco Charlton goes, I think it’s key to remember that he must pass through waivers first because he’s not a vested veteran. There’s a good chance someone will take a chance on him, but if they don’t I wouldn’t mind the Bears taking a look. It’s worth noting that they don’t currently have an edge rusher on the practice squad and are only four deep on the active roster. So in hindsight, maybe edge rusher was a position to at least update your free agent list with.

I can’t envision a scenario where the Bears will be looking to trade away any of their receivers. Especially not someone like Taylor Gabriel who has been the team’s second most used receiver ranging back to last year. Despite not having many catches to open the year, he’s still a very involved piece of this offense.

I’m also not sure that the Giants are looking to add anything in a season where they’re (0-2) and no real chance of competing for a playoff spot. That doesn’t mean that Gabriel won’t be a cut candidate once we hit the off-season, but mid-season is not the time to deal a primary target in your offense. Especially a struggling offense.

They currently are sitting around $18 million in cap space and have the flexibility to make a move if need be. With that being said, they will again be without a first round pick in the 2020 draft and aren’t likely to see any sort of comp pick from the Adrian Amos signing because Kevin White was cut in Arizona.

So that must be weighed when looking at any potential trade scenario. On top of that, where do the Bears really need to add? Tight end could be an option, but for any potential name that would be an impact, it’s not going to be cheap. I think the other factor that we need to remember is that this isn’t baseball. Normally, a team can’t just throw in a player to a new team mid-season and expect them to know the playbook and play at a high level. At least early on.

All in all, I think the Bears will stand pat unless there’s something that absolutely makes sense for them in the price department. They still have a future to think about in terms of draft picks and cap space. Things will continue to get tighter in the cap department in the near future.


For another perspective on Trubisky, check out Bill’s latest Podcast where he spoke with Jim Miller.