It seems Ryan Pace has created a Chicago Bears Quarterback competition before our own eyes. Who would’ve thought that back in the 2018-2019 season that Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles would not only battle it out in the first round of the playoffs, but would also battle it out for the starting job just two years later. Here is a preview of the Chicago Bears quarterback competition.
Mitch Trubisky History
Back in 2017, General Manager Ryan Pace traded up to get his guy. Ryan Pace moved up from the number three overall spot to the number two spot to snag Mitchell Trubisky. Many have questioned the move, but the move happened and there is no going back. Many Bears fans hated the move from the beginning. Trubisky has shown some amazing flashes, but he hasn’t seemed to put the pieces together just yet.
Fast forward to 2019. Trubisky struggled all year with injuries, decision-making, accuracy, you name it. Many blamed him for the regression of the Bears team, but he wasn’t the only one who regressed. Many players took a big step back and it seemed like the only guy who didn’t was Allen Robinson.
2020 Free Agency
Shortly after Ryan Pace announced that Trubisky was the guy by saying “We believe in Mitch” at the 2020 NFL Combine. His actions may have spoken louder than his words as Pace inquired about every quarterback available in the offseason. Pace inquired about Andy Dalton and Cam Newton via trade and also attempted to sign Teddy Bridgewater. Eventually, Pace brought in 2018 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. The contract at first was ugly, but after some restructuring, he is earning around $15 million this season. But here the big question: who is the Chicago Bears starting quarterback?
Chicago Bears Starting Quarterback
In reality, none of us truly know. Some sports websites such as NFL.com predicted a record-breaking year for Foles. Other sites just say that Foles is competition. Truly, no one knows and that’s what will eat at Bears fans all offseason. Foles has the upper hand due to his experience in the playoffs and in the NFL in general, but maybe the Bears will give Trubisky one more shot.
The Case for Nick Foles
Foles has a fairly odd resume if you truly look at it. Back in 2013, Foles had arguably one of the greatest seasons a quarterback could have. In just 10 games, Foles completed 64% of his passes for 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. This made his passer rating an astonishing 119.2. After that, Foles has never even gotten close. He actually has only started more than 10 games one other time in his career and that was for the then St. Louis Rams. Since that career year, Foles has been very up-and-down. Even recently, in 2018 when he was on the Eagles, Foles completed over 70% of his passes and had a 96 passer rating in five games. The next year for the Jaguars, Foles completion dropped to 65% and his passer rating dropped to 84.6 in four games.
If you look deeper into the history of Foles, you’ll understand why the Bears got him.
Back in 2013 when Foles had his record-setting season, his quarterback coach was the Chicago Bears new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
In 2016 when Foles spent time in Kansas City, his offensive coordinator was Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
When Foles won the Super Bowl in 2017 with the Philadelphia Eagles, his quarterback coach was the Bears current quarterback coach John DeFilippo.
It’s hard to ignore the clear connections to the system that will be run in Chicago. Foles fits it quite well. He will be gunning for that job and may beat out Trubisky for it.
The Case for Mitchell Trubisky
Trubisky hasn’t had it easy in Chicago to say the least. Trubisky wasn’t like before he even set foot on a football field in the navy blue and orange. Shortly after Trubisky was drafted, he appeared at the United Center for a Chicago Bulls’ game and he was greeted by boos. Since the beginning, Chicago fans hated Trubisky.
His troubles didn’t get much easier. He eventually came in for the hopeless Mike Glennon at quarterback as a rookie. Who did Trubisky have to throw to? Trubisky had the likes of Tre McBride, Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton, Tanner Gentry, and Kevin White to throw to. Not a single one of these receivers is in the NFL just three seasons later. It also didn’t help either that John Fox and Dowell Loggains refused to let Trubisky throw most times. Some games, he only threw it seven times.
Finally, the savior came to Chicago. Ryan Pace canned John Fox and brought in Andy Reid’s right-hand man Matt Nagy. As soon as Nagy came in, he changed the atmosphere, the attitude, everything. The team rallied around him. Nagy helped Trubisky take a huge step in 2018 where Trubisky made a Pro Bowl and threw for 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a top three Quarterback Rating in the NFL. The Bears looked like a completely different team that was creating a dynasty.
Then, 2019 hit. As I previously said, everyone seemed to take a step back. Reliable backfield target Tarik Cohen dropped seven passes compared to his one from the year before. The Bears’ offensive line took a massive step back. Trubisky had one of the lowest Time to Throws according to NFL Next Gen Stats. The defense even regressed going from creating almost 40 turnovers the year before to just 19 the next. The playcalling looked much worse on offense, the Bears didn’t have a tight end reach 100 receiving yards. They virtually had no run game. Basically, the whole offense was a mess.
Now for 2020, the Bears have a decision to make. The Bears can either buy into Trubisky and invest in his fifth-year option, or the Bears can decline it and let him walk.
What Should the Bears Do?
The Bears should pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option and ride with him. The window for a Super Bowl is closing shortly and Ryan Pace accepting defeat by declining this option likely means that the Bears will invest in a new quarterback. Pace may not have the opportunity to do that again if the Bears flop again.
Trubisky has the tools to be a very successful quarterback in the NFL. People have seen some plays he has made that most quarterbacks would dream of making. He needs to put things together as soon as possible if the Bears want their dreams of winning a Super Bowl to happen. The staff currently around Trubisky is very experienced and having Nick Foles behind him will help a ton.
Even if Trubisky fails, at least Pace can own up to it and admit he was wrong. If the Bears as a whole pick things up again, I see Trubisky taking a major step forward from last year. If he fails, hey at least the Bears have a Super Bowl MVP to step in. The Bears are in a similar position the Tennessee Titans were in last season. Let’s hope that Trubisky can step up unlike Marcus Mariota as the Chicago Bears starting quarterback.
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