The Chicago Bears are off to their best start in a season through the first three weeks since 2014. Even with the hot start, there’s some concerns with the inconsistent play of starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Head coach Matt Nagy was hired with the main objective of getting the most out of Trubisky, but has yet to and could be the main reason as to why.

When the Bears hired Nagy earlier this season, general manager Ryan Pace believed Nagy to be the best coaching candidate to get the best out of his most important draft pick. Nagy came from Kansas City Chiefs where he had been the team’s quarterbacks coach for several seasons under head coach Andy Reid before.

Towards the end of last season, he was promoted to offensive coordinator for the team’s last five games. Nagy was credited for the rejuvenation of quarterback Alex Smith’s career as Smith was one of the league’s most efficient quarterbacks during his time with the Chiefs.

Trubisky was put in a very difficult situation as a starter in his rookie season. Starting in Week 5, he had very few talented targets to throw to in the passing game, his offensive line was consistently injured, and some felt that Dowell Loggains lacked creativity as an offensive coordinator.

Three of Trubisky’s main wide receivers last season in Dontrelle Inman, Kendall Wright, and Markus Wheaton are all currently free agents. His best passing targets in tight ends Adam Shaheen and Zach Miller was sidelined for significant portions of the season due to injury.

Even with everything going against his development, Trubisky and the Bears were competitive as of the eight games the team lost with him as the starter, only three of those games were by 10 points or more. In those five losses, the Bears rookie quarterback had a chance to either tie or win the game in the team’s final drive.

Wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, and tight end Trey Burton were all brought in to give Trubisky better-passing options, especially when passing downfield. Nagy’s offensive scheme involves deep routes to the wide receivers and underneath routes by the running backs and tight ends to take advantage of the space created.

With the new weapons and the new playbook, the second year quarterback was going to need as much practice time and live reps as possible to get a firm grasp of the offense.

When the 2018 schedule was released, the Bears were fortunate to find out that they would be playing a fifth preseason game as they chosen to play in the Hall of Fame Game and were given extra practice time ahead of the game. It was just as the new head coach needed to give his inexperienced quarterback to get accustomed to the new settings.

Although Nagy made the most of the team’s practice time, he did not make the most of using the in-game reps for his starting offense.

Trubisky only appeared in two of the five preseason games and only had two offensive series in the first of the two games. His most targeted wide-receiver when he was on the field was Kevin White, who has yet to be targeted in the regular season. Burton was targeted heavily in the third preseason game against Denver and caught a touchdown pass.

Robinson, Miller, and Gabriel combined for one pass reception by Trubisky in those two games and running back Tarik Cohen was targeted once in which the pass was intercepted.

Nagy’s most questionable decision came when he chose to sit his starting offense for the third preseason game which is viewed as the “dress rehearsal game” where NFL teams prep for the game like a regular season game and play into the second half. He believed that his starters performed well in the practices leading up to the game and deserved the time off.

In the three games so far, Trubisky has struggled in the pocket as he appears to look to run the ball after his first read is not available instead of going through his full progressions. In the preseason, He was actually doing the opposite as he appeared to go through his full set of progressions.

The fact that Nagy’s quarterback is looking to run if the first read is not available shows that their might not be deep knowledge of each play. His quarterback might not trust or know the second and third options of each play in order to feel comfortable enough to stay with the play.

If that is the case, it is up to the offensive-minded head coach to dial back the playbook. He can help Trubisky by having a set amount of plays that he feels fully comfortable with and expand from that base. A quarterback that overthinks too much is never going to be successful leading an offense.

Many are also not realizing that Trubisky’s first extended amount of live game-reps with Robinson, Miller, and Gabriel all together didn’t come until week one against Green Bay. The timing of special and deep routes is extremely difficult to pin down, especially when in a live situation with opposing defenses pressuring and trying to break up the pass attempt.

Accuracy is sure to be an issue majority of the times especially for a quarterback throwing to new receivers in a new system for the first time.

This comes back to not getting as many reps as possible for the starting offense. Although both Gabriel and Robinson were injured at times through the preseason, Nagy still had the “dress rehearsal” to get the starting group game reps but chose not to.

Luckily for the Bears, following Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, they will have their bye week in week five. This will allow the coaches to get a detailed look at the film and focus on what the offense’s struggles are, especially at the quarterback position.

Nagy will need to work on how to get Trubisky to perform better as his decisions in the preseason are a direct effect to the current struggles of his quarterback.

15 thoughts on “Matt Nagy could be responsible for Mitchell Trubisky’s struggles”

  1. The issue IS the QB!!!! Can’t throw a deep route to save his life. Has nothing to do with getting used to receivers. Taje a look at his college tape–couldn’t throw a deep ball then and can’t now. Trubisjy is nothing better than a career backup. Look at his career QB rating—it’s around 78. That is his basic rating each game over 15 games. If he was going to break out we would have seen SOMETHING by now. Pace blew the pick

  2. Can we stop with the discussion about the decision to sit the starters in preseason? Adding an extra quarter or two of preseason may have helped in week 1, but the experience gained from that now is minuscule compared to the 12 quarters of real gametime so far this season.

  3. I think there’s something to missing the 3rd game. Trubisky could’ve built some confidence in play. That’s shot after the GB game and has just gotten worse since. That confidence shows in his play. That’s all I can think though. His inaccuracies are all on him. Hell Baker Mayfield didn’t play with the 1s for a few weeks and was on target. We need a much larger sample of games. If this year doesn’t work out then fans have to learn to be patient. If he’s still bad during next year in the offense? Oof now that’s a huge problem and other alternatives must be explored. Let’s all hope the last few games have just been 1 huge speed bump. He has to move on and get better.

  4. If you look at the last few years of multiple injuries for the Bears, even to start the season. I believe you can then put Coach Nagy’s decisions Re: not playing starters in the preseason into perspective. His primary goal was to have a healthy starting lineup going into the regular season. He accomplished that. Whether the lack of consistent production from Mitch Trubisky is because of less game reps in the preseason or because of working within a new offense is debatable. But I lean towards what Coach has said about bringing the RPO offense into Chicago,”it’ll take a few years” to learn all of the nuances of the scheme. Give both Coach and QB some time to grow together.
    With the D as strong as they’re playing currently, let’s hope our O will be “good enough” to keep reeling off wins, develop a winning culture and dominate our division for years to come.

  5. Bears fans are the worst. I’m from Chicago and could never understand while other teams fans are backing their losing team 100% bears fans can be winning and still bashing any player they can. I know you gotta be thick skinned in this city but if you don’t have the time to do your research and see that some of the greatest qbs started slow you should shut it.

  6. Gregory V Laughnan

    Two passes on the 2 yard line? Are you kidding me? Jay Leno as a wide out? are you kidding me? Pass to set up the run with a young QB? Are you kidding me? Who is calling plays here? Pound the football for a half. Let the defense tire out the offense line.

  7. To BA, to compare McMahon to trubisky is laughable at best. Yoou are talking 30 years ago. Defenses were allowed to do far more than now. All rules are set up for offense now, particularly the passing game. To RJ22, if trubisky is not getting a lot better this year, we cannot wait until end if 2019 season to see if he gets it. Uf he doesn’t improve consuderably this year they need to spend a 3 or 4 in draft on another QB. I hope I am wrong, but based on what I saw of him in college and thus far in NFL, he will never ve a franchise QB—ceiling is serviceable QB at best. Again, I hope I am wrong

  8. Mitch has to become more aggressive with the audibles and pass protection.It is not the learning of the playbook ; that will come in time it’s the( what I do at the line when reading defenses) that’s the problem…We need a true center to anchor the line .When we get our o line straight then Mitch will have time to go with the reads.

  9. The objective is good QB play. If MT doesn’t deliver, Chase Daniel might not be Tom Brady but he might be Kyle Orten. Or does Nagy in his first year not have the power, the guts or brains to make that decision?

  10. Nothing has to do with sitting starters in game 3 of the preseason. This argument is ridiculous. I feel like this writer set an alarm in his phone to write an article 3 weeks in if Trubisky was doing well. The fact is Trubisky is inexperienced in general and it will take time to learn every aspect of a complicated offense. On top of that he was heavily groomed under Fox to run if his first and possible second option wasn’t open. That’s a hard habit to break when that was his first NFL experience. Lastly the Bears are healthier this year because they are the more powerful and dominant team. The weaker team gets the majority of injuries usually and that’s what we were for the last 5 years.

  11. John #1 Bears fan

    This is Tribs first season in a new system. He’s had only a few months in it! Everyone needs to let this “kid” learn and absorb Nagy’s system. Mahomes had a full year and learn from A Smith which was in the system many years. Gotta give this kid s chance to succeed. Jared Goff started of terrible his first year and now in his 3rd season he is so much more comfortable in the offense and with who he is as a QB. PATIENCE!!!!!!

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