Posted on July 20, 2018, by Travis Pulver
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky knows a thing or two about pressure—but so does any player in the NFL. Anyone selected in the first round let alone early in the first round is going to feel some. When a team gives away three draft picks to move up one slot in order to select you—like the Bears did for Trubisky— you feel a little more.
But when you also happen to play in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Matthew Stafford the pressure to perform is even greater. There’s a standard to live up to; one few think Trubisky can meet.
He’s confident that he can and is looking forward to proving people wrong this season (via Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report):
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“People say, ‘This kid, no matter how good he does, he’s going to be the worst in his division every year.’ That’s a challenge I’m going to accept. You have to go toe-to-toe with the big dogs. We want to make teams fear coming into Chicago, and when we come into their town, they know we’re in for a war.
“So, get ready. I’m going to be prepared. I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. Hopefully, I make people eat their words with what they say about me.”
Trubisky was well regarded coming out of college. But many questioned his game since he only had a single season as a starter under his belt. Despite that, he graded out well at the Combine, had a good Pro Day, and impressed scouts enough that he was expected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken off the board—if not the first.
While he didn’t exactly have a stellar year as a rookie (59.4 completion percentage, 2193 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 12 starts), it would be unfair to put all of the blame on him. The Bears didn’t exactly have a strong unit on either side of the ball last season.
But this season, with the additions that have been made to the roster, expectations are a lot higher. Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy was named the new head coach after John Fox was let go. He named former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich his offensive coordinator.
To make sure a lack of weapons couldn’t be an excuse for Trubisky they acquired a few like Allen Robinson (WR), Taylor Gabriel (WR), and Trey Burton (TE) in free agency. They also added another wide receiver in the draft in Memphis standout Anthony Miller. There is still hope Kevin White could develop into the playmaker they hoped he’d be when they drafted him.
The defense was actually pretty decent last season. So, if the offense can get on track, there is a good chance the Bears could win some football games. Will they win enough to make the playoffs? It’s not going to be easy—but it is possible if everyone lives up to their reputations.
Does that mean Trubisky has a shot at making his critics eat their words? He has a shot; he’ll be hard-pressed to live up to the standard the rest of the division will set. But it is not hard to image the season playing out in a fashion where he earns more respect.