Mitchell Trubisky playing like forgettable player with Chicago Bears, says Jeff Reinebold
"When you move up to get a guy what you're saying is 'we're convinced this is the guy'. And it's not been that kind of situation in Chicago"
By Cameron Hogwood
Last Updated: 15/05/20 6:39am
Mitchell Trubisky will forever be scrutinised as the quarterback drafted before Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017, not that he needs reminding.
For now, however, there is a more pressing comparison to be concerned with closer to home. Enter Nick Foles, who was traded by the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Chicago Bears this offseason as serious competition to Trubisky's starting job.
The enormity of his 2020 season was amplified again earlier this month when the Bears declined their fifth-year option on the 25-year-old following an unconvincing 2019.
"I think it's a way of hedging their bet and if Foles comes in and wins the job and then they can invest in him long-term and make the transition," said Jeff Reinebold on Inside the Huddle.
"If Foles beats him out that may be what he's remembered for in Chicago and around the National Football League, because those next two names who the Bears passed on to get Trusbisky, those are two great quarterbacks.
"If in fact he's able to hold off Foles they can always renegotiate, they can go back into the room and get him a long-term deal. The thing that concerns me, a lot of his completions are short stuff.
"When you move up to get a guy what you're saying is 'we're convinced this is the guy'. And it's not been that kind of situation in Chicago."
Trubisky displayed encouraging signs in 2018 as he recorded a 95.4 passer rating with 3,223 yards for 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, as well as exhibiting his threat on the ground with 421 rushing yards for three scores. The Bears made it all the way to wildcard weekend, where they were beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles following Cody Parkey's missed game-winning field goal attempt.
He struggled to build on that in year three, managing a passer rating of just 83 with 3,138 yards for 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 193 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
"You don't see him drive the ball down the field, you don't see the comebacks, the digs, the second level routes that you want to see out of a great quarterback," added Reinebold.
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"When you compare him to the balls Deshaun Watson throws or Mahomes throws, or Aaron Rodgers throws, they're able to complete not just those short, screen, slant throws, but they get the ball down the field and are making the tough throws.
"Trubisky is to the point, as I watch him, where he's almost playing with no confidence. He doesn't seem to want to get on his front foot and make those throws. I think he's playing like a forgettable player."
Chicago traded up to make Trubisky the No 2 overall pick in 2017 based on a relatively small sample of college highlights.
Trubisky threw just 42 completions in 2014 at North Carolina followed by 40 in 2015, before finally stepping up as starter in his junior year and managing 304 passes for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions.
"Here's the reality on Trubisky," continued Reinebold. "He only started one year at North Carolina, and there were things that you liked about him. He's got enough arm, doesn't have a Mahomes arm but he's got a big arm.
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"He's a very good athlete for the position, a smart guy. But it was a limited amount of work you were evaluating when you made the decision to go that way.
"Somebody got enamoured with his physical talent and didn't really look at the tape and recognise the fact that, yes he did have a good senior year but North Carolina is not exactly the cradle of quarterbacks.
"If it was all the way until one year left in your career at Carolina that you start, that doesn't say an awful lot about the body of work you have."