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So, this Trubisky guy, is he a good quarterback or what? Well?
Dude, I'm thinking. I waited an extra day to write this column to have a little more time to ponder things. And my conclusion is . . .
Yes, yes he is. Halfway into his second season, Mitch Trubisky has done more than enough to qualify as a good NFL quarterback. But there is one initial drawback: He has a long way to go to achieve greatness. And nothing but sustained greatness will justify the ridiculous in a bad way price the Bears paid to get him.
I heard dimwits on the radio Monday talking about how the most important thing is that Trubisky has a chance to play meaningful games in the second half of the season this year in order to prepare him for 2019 and 2020.
What a bunch of malarkey. The NFL, more than all other sports, is a "right now" enterprise. Heading into last Sunday, the Washington Ethnic Slurs had a promising season going. Then they lost two offensive linemen and a wide receiver to season-ending injuries. The Slurs will have to wait 'til next year.
Trubisky has a chance to lead the Bears to the playoffs and then to have success in the playoffs. He has that chance right now. Next year and 2020 (are you kidding me?) don't matter at all.
The first thing Trubisky has to do is knock off the stone-cold stupid plays. He was very fortunate his potentially crushing fumble Sunday was recovered by a teammate when the game was still scoreless. And his interception was a pathetic throw.
That being said, he made some delightfully accurate passes downfield when it mattered most - when the game was still up for grabs especially in the second quarter. And in previous games, he has done his best work when it mattered. His offense did the job in losses to the Dolphins and Patriots. Those setbacks were on the defense and the special teams, respectively. And when the Bears needed him to step up after the Jets pulled within a score two games ago, he did just that.
Of course, all that stuff won't matter if the Bears don't get the job done and win at least two of their next three games (hosting Detroit and Minnesota the next two Sundays, traveling to Detroit on Thanksgiving). That's when Trubisky can start to take that next step.
But by any objective measure, the first half-season of the Nagy-Trubisky era has been a success. (We might have called that the Nagy-Trubisky-Mack era up until three weeks ago, when Khalil Mack suffered the high ankle sprain that has caused him to miss the last two games.)
Trubisky needs to improve his accuracy overall. Brad Biggs pointed out in the Tribune that he has completed only 54 of his last 99 passes during the past four games.
But, as my son Noah pointed out to me, that part of the reason for the disappointing completion rate (at minimum, a good NFL quarterback needs to complete more than 60 percent of his passes) is that the Bears take so many shots down the field. And those aren't necessarily bomb shots - they are shots on passes designed to gain between 15 and 30 yards.
I only kind of agree with that. But the bottom line is, Trubisky has completed enough passes for the Bears to win their last two games. They faced bad teams, but they needed to win both those contests to call the first half of the season a success.
The Bears have a ton of football to play during the next two weeks and two days. But then they will get a half-bye after the holiday and the final five games feature more delightful divisional action as well as lousy foes from San Francisco and New York (the Giants).
There is plenty of reason to be optimistic they will take advantage of their opportunities before and after Turkey Day, but they will need that young quarterback character to be better than he has been so far.
So far, he has been good.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Mar 29, 2020
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