Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky must react, not think
Matt Nagy is getting a lot of deserved blame for the loss to the Green Bay Packers. However, Mitchell Trubisky showed in moments that he has room to grow as well
I am going to start the article with this so that it does not get lost. I understand that this was start number 26 for Mitchell Trubisky between college and NFL. This is not a slam piece, and it is not calling him a bust.
However, what it is doing it is pointing to an area of his game in which he must improve to take another step as a quarterback. This would be reacting within the speed of the game rather than thinking within the pace of the game.
As the Chicago Bears got away from their scripted plays in the meat of the game, Mitchell Trubisky began to see struggles. When the play was designed for a specific read, and he saw it, he was money. However, any time he had to fend for himself, he took his eyes down and checked down.
Take the play highlighted in this GIF. It is third down with a chance to drive a stake through the Packers hearts. Trubisky rolls right off of play action, setting up a pass to Tarik Cohen in the flats. Clay Matthews does not bite on the fact and attacks Trubisky. Trubisky can attempt to drop the ball over his fingers to give his skill player a chance at the first down.
However, he thinks, which leads to hesitation, and now it is too late. As he progresses left to right, he sees Trey Burton shifting free. The defensive back to his right is breaking away from Burton. So, while Haha Clinton-Dix is gaining on Burton, Trubisky has room to make this throw.
You can see he sees it. However, he has to think about the defender to the right for too long, rather than reacting and firing. This gives Clinton-Dix a chance to gain even more. Now, he on to a check down, across the field for a loss. Bad passes lead to interceptions on both reads, but good passes lead to touchdowns. Trubisky was not ready to make that throw.
Another play in the second half used great play design to give Trubisky two options to his left. Trubisky has Dion Sims running a drag from left to right. Then, he has Burton running a deep out, which crosses with Taylor Gabriel running a go.
As Burton breaks to the sideline, Trubisky has one linebacker caught between Sims and Burton. He has room in the pocket and steps up. All he has to do is show that he is going to one, get the safety to break, and hit the other open.
Instead, his maneuvering of the pocket forces him to take his eyes down, leaving his only option to tuck and run.
Take a look at his passing chart below. 13 passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. That is not all design. He was also 5-11 throwing the ball ten or more yards down the field.
Mitchell Trubisky just went toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday Night Football on the road for the first season opener of his career. He is inexperienced as it is and struggled to keep his head up when taking in the magnitude of the moment.
Still, as the season goes on, teams are going to throw different looks at him, and they are going to force him to maneuver the pocket. Trubisky is going to have to be able to make snap decisions in the speed of the game. He is going to have to shift the pocket with eyes down the field. If he can do that, he will take a huge step this season. Time will tell.