With NFL preseason games just now beginning, analysts and bloggers alike are doing what they can to judge the players in training camps. It might be a little early to do that, but news is scarce, outside of the players that are holding out.
What seems to be a common trend is the fact that several bloggers are seeing the video of the Chicago Bears training camp and immediately writing off any chances of success. They are constantly citing all the interceptions and poor throws that Mitch Trubisky makes, and are using that to say that last season was a fluke. It’s literally the biggest knee-jerk reaction out there, and it just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
There’s some terribly flawed logic there. First of all, this is training camp, not the regular season. Second, Trubisky is always going up against the vaunted Bears defense, complete with several pro bowlers and all pro players. Lastly, they’re refusing to accept that Trubisky is on the cusp of a breakout season, according to Bleacher Report. This is the same outlet who accurately predicted that Patrick Mahomes would be the breakout player last season.
Trubisky was only in for one series in the preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers, and he didn’t even throw the ball. He has only been throwing against either the starters or the reserves, working on different formations and expanding the playbook. This is also the time to experiment with various plays and throws that would normally never fly in a real game. In short, it’s a time to LEARN. There is no reason to believe that practice throws are the reason this team will falter. This is literally scraping the bottom of the barrel of excuses for why Trubisky and the Bears will falter this year.
Not to mention, other quarterbacks around the league have been having some issues in training camp as well. This includes Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers finished up a two day practice with the Houston Texans, and needless to say, it wasn’t great. It led to Rodgers saying that he doesn’t like joint practices and would be fine if the league got rid of them. But let’s keep focusing on what kind of throws Trubisky is making without thinking about the unit he’s going against.
Chicago’s training camp has been filled with one absolute constant: the defense is no joke. And yes, that has led to Trubisky throwing several interceptions, notably against players like Roquan Smith, Kyle Fuller and Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. Those are all starting members of the Bears defense. The same Bears defense that was ranked in the top three according to ESPN. They were also number one in the NFL in team defense according to Pro Football Focus metrics.
Last I checked being in the top three, or number one, is absolutely dominant, depending on metrics. It’s pretty easy to see why Trubisky would struggle every day against this starting unit or even the reserve players. Tell me one quarterback that wouldn’t have a hard time in training camp against these types of players. That seems to be forgotten. This is only going to make Trubisky sharper when the games actually matter, and that’s not good for the rest of the league.
That leads to the final point. Bleacher Report analysts have selected Trubisky among other players as breakout candidates for the 2019 season. These were the same analysts who selected Mahomes to break out for 2018, and all he did was win the NFL MVP award. Now, Trubisky isn’t going to win the MVP, although he has been one of the most betted on athletes to do so. But it does bode well for the Bears.
This doesn’t mean that Trubisky is going to win the award. But it does show that there is confidence in the quarterback taking a big step forward this year. That’s something the pundits and outlets aren’t going to mention. This is his second year under head coach Matt Nagy. He’s gotten used to the playbook and has been given full reign of the new playbook. It means the confidence in Trubisky has never been higher. After his season last year, it’s easy to see why.
The fact that this conversation is even happening is astounding. It’s training camp for crying out loud. There are players making bad throws and throwing interceptions all the time. Why they are focusing on Trubisky and the Bears means that they can’t accept the Bears are back. Trubisky is poised to have a breakout year and the Bears are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. We should revisit this topic in late December or January, when the REAL season begins.