Are there too many cooks in the Chicago Bears kitchen? It was a fair question even before fans got a news dump of sorts on Thursday. Coaches were made available via video conference, many for the first time, and there were plenty of platitudes thrown around and exuberance displayed. We were also treated to a short video from one Mitchell Trubisky, in which he was seen working with a renowned quarterback guru.
All of this is great for soundbites in the summer doldrums. But there is that aspect that needs to be addressed in light of all we saw. With all the additions to the coaching staff, and the outside help sought, could there be too much going on around Trubisky for his own good?
Too Many Cooks in the Chicago Bears Kitchen?
Too Much of a Good Thing
There’s a saying, “all things in moderation”, that comes to mind when thinking of the Bears revamped coaching staff. Last year’s group was built to support Matt Nagy. This time Chicago made overt efforts to build a support system for Trubisky. From offensive coordinator Bill Lazor to quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. Even retaining Dave Ragone, now as passing game coordinator, this staff is built for quarterbacks by quarterbacks.
All of these coaches have a connection to each other too; or at least to Nagy. That should make it easier for them to communicate and eliminate some of the power struggles that can come from having so many experienced coaches. All have also been offensive coordinators at one point or another so perhaps they have a better understanding of what is most beneficial to translate on gameday.
Even Trubisky’s outside mentor, Jeff Christensen, is a renowned quarterback whisperer. A former quarterback himself, he could be seen coaching Chicago’s embattled incumbent in a video posted on Instagram. It is also worth noting that there were several of Trubisky’s Bears teammates present as well.
So What’s the Problem?
When speaking with reporters earlier in the week, Trubisky spoke on how the trade for Foles made him “pissed off, but in a good way”. He also said, ‘I still feel like this is my team” but that he recognized he has to step his game up after the team declined his fifth-year option. These are all positives but are coming together in a way that can quickly go very negative.
Trubisky’s rookie season has been deemed irrelevant by many due to his being handcuffed to a lame-duck coach in John Fox, who didn’t even want him. He had to sit behind Mike Glennon to start the season. There was a game, that Chicago won, in which Trubisky threw seven passes total.
That changed in 2018 under Nagy. Trubisky, while still mediocre by NFL standards, showed a little more of what general manager Ryan Pace saw that made him secretly lock onto the University of North Carolina product. But the second year under Nagy showed regression in the offense as a whole, but particularly in Trubisky. His decision-making was slow and his already, shaky accuracy remained an issue. As if the mental part wasn’t enough, the injury bug also bit again.
This Has To Work
There is no putting lipstick on a pig here. The entire Chicago Bears organization needs this to work out for Trubisky. Pace and Nagy would like to keep their jobs, though they are hedging their bets with the trade for Foles. The franchise doesn’t want to have to continue their search for their first franchise passer arguably ever.
Foles is stop-gap at best, so even if the Bears turn to him and he is successful, they still need a plan for the future. Trubisky winning is in everyone’s best interest. Would fans, who’ve had to live with the passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, like to see their team’s investment come close to paying off? You bet they would.
But one has to wonder if all of this input will get Trubisky further into his own head. For a player that, entering his fourth season, still struggles with reading defenses even in RPO’s adding even more information for him to process sounds like a powder keg situation.
In One Ear
No one will ever charge Mitchell Trubisky with laziness, but that could be to his detriment in this case. There is a very real possibility that he internalizes all of the information he is trying to take in in one summer. Additionally, all of this is taking place against air when his struggles are largely due to, you know, actual defenders being present.
You also have to factor in the pressure of knowing the is someone capable of taking his job for the first time. Many will point to his comments and workout videos as proof he is up to the challenge. But going back to the last time he was in a similar situation in college, he couldn’t beat out the veteran even though he (Trubisky) was more talented. Granted, the other guy was the incumbent, and college is a different dynamic. All Trubisky’s talent still didn’t allow him to win the job earlier.
That’s the part we won’t know the answer to until games are played. We can acknowledge the coaching additions and admire the offseason sweat but we must realize that it means nothing. Remember how Trubisky and the offense were going to be in the ‘202 level’ of Nagy’s offense? Certainly, you do.
Too Many Cooks in Bears Kitchen
2020 is a big year for the Chicago Bears from top to bottom. The general manager, head coach, and starting quarterback are all fighting to prove their worth. Two of those guys have a backup plan. The third, and possibly the most important, can only plan on being a backup if there indeed proves to be too many cooks in the Bears kitchen.
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