Bears' Trubisky Grappling With Growing Pains

September 18, 2018 - 3:14 pm
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(670 The Score) A familiar groan moved through Soldier Field on Monday night, one you would swear is an echo from seasons past. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had top target Allen Robinson open deep downfield and undershot him badly.

That errant pass would prove to be the first of Trubisky's of two interceptions on the night. The other was on a deflected pass, and both were picked off by Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin. They left a damper on an otherwise enjoyable night for the Bears, who earned a 24-17 win over the Seahawks for the first victory of the Matt Nagy era.

Trubisky once again delivered mixed results for the Bears, making some big throws while missing badly on others. He continued to show the "happy feet" he hopes to eliminate in the pocket, which forced him into mistakes and a few times paid dividends. It's all part of the development for the 24-year-old Trubisky as he learns a new offense under a new coach.

"The thing we're learning in this process is we are on a next-play mentality, and I'm happy with how he handled himself from play one to the fourth quarter," Nagy said after the game. "Any time after any play, good or bad, after the series, he was phenomenal. His attitude was great, and he didn't worry about anything. That's growth right there, and that makes me happy to know that he understands that."

A day after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes -- an understudy to Nagy in Kansas City last year and a fellow first-round pick with Trubisky in the 2017 draft -- threw six touchdown passes to reach 10 for the season two weeks in, Trubisky was further put under the microscope for his performances through 14 career starts. Mahomes has topped Trubisky's career passing touchdown total in just two starts this season, but there's important context needed in comparing the two.

Nagy was quick to point out Monday with reporters that Mahomes is benefiting after spending 15 regular-season games last year learning the offense as the backup, while Trubisky is still in his first year with Nagy and this system but forced to learn and adapt on the fly. 

The burden Trubisky carries is great -- he has been asked to lead an offense with a number of difference-making targets and help complement a defense that looks like it can be dominant. Chicago wants to see Trubisky become a franchise quarterback and is ready to criticize his every misstep and rushed decision along the way.

"I'm trying to get over just dwelling on plays too much," Trubisky said. "I think it has hurt me more than it's helped me. So, getting over plays and just building on what I did good and forgetting about what I did bad and continuing to improve and get better and learn this offense. Coach keeps saying, 'It is going to be a process.' We want immediate results, but finding ways to win is very important, and we did that."

The Bears' support system around Trubisky, from Nagy to offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, is structured as such to help him put all his pieces together. The mistakes that Trubisky is making thus far all appear to be coachable, such as zeroing in on one read or rushing through progressions and missing an opening. 

Pocket presence comes with experience, and the Bears drafted Trubisky second overall a year ago believing his tools could overcome the inexperience of starting just 13 college games. Tasked as the team's starter at quarterback since last September, Trubisky has been asked to learn and grow along the way.

Trubisky plans to be his own harshest critic through the growth process, something that became evident after a heartbreaking loss in the season opener. It's certainly easier for Trubisky to assess himself after an important victory.

"We just have to bring the three phases together and hopefully get on a roll from here on out," he said. "But it feels really good to win."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​