The second year of experience in Nagy’s offense will also hopefully alleviate Trubisky’s at-times scattershot decision-making.
Trubisky struggled early in the season both when facing pressure and when defense sat back in zone late in games and forced him to stay patient. That’s a nice way of saying he had some pretty rough times in his first few weeks.
Teams could force Trubisky into sacks on blitzes (as long as they made sure he didn’t have an obvious running lane) because he just wouldn’t look at his hot routes.
Then, once you’d put the specter of pressure in his mind, he would start looking to run even when he had time to survey the field and make a throw. From there, teams could just sit back in zone defense and let him unravel, either throwing a bad ball or taking more unnecessary sacks.
Trubisky also played too aggressively at times. He’d force throws across his body or throw on the run into coverage when he should have lived to fight another play.
In short, he sometimes plays like he didn’t have a plan each play.
He certainly seemed to straighten that out by the end of last season, playing mostly mistake-free football his last three games (four touchdowns, no interceptions).
Trubisky would then regularly beat blitzes either with his legs or by throwing pinpoint balls to receivers on the move, trusting them to get to their spots. And when teams sat in zone, he’d simply hold the ball and wait for a hole to open up. Once he found his window, it was a cinch.
That’s the Mitchell Trubisky the Chicago Bears want to see in 2019 and beyond.
He needs to trust his pre- and post-snap reads and commit to staying in the pocket to survey the field. As the season progressed, you could tell he wasn’t surprised by anything defenses threw at him. So that comfort level is clearly growing.
Maintaining his poise will both help him improve his overall production and minimize his possible mistakes.
But he also needs to have a plan for when chaos ensues. Know who your safety valves are when the blitz comes. Don’t be afraid of throwing the ball before a receiver makes his break. And step up and through the pocket to escape pressure rather than looking to run outside all the time.
Staying one step ahead of defenses more often in 2019 will be the biggest key to Trubisky making the leap next year.