Bears

Why the Bears will, but may not need to, temper expectations for Mitchell Trubisky: ‘He is not a magic wand’

Bears players and coaches are making it clear this week that they don’t expect Mitchell Trubisky, and Mitchell Trubisky alone, to solve problems that’ve plagued this 1-3 team through the first quarter of the season.

It’s an exercise in tempering expectations for a rookie making his NFL debut, and it’s a smart and prudent message to send to the future of the franchise.

“Mitch Trubisky is a very good, young player but he is not a magic wand,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “We needed to play better around him, that starts with me and goes to every position group. We’ve got to eliminate drops. We need to eliminate the negative runs and the negative plays because it’s really hard to play quarterback when it’s 2nd and 15 and it’s a known passing situation.”

Added running back Tarik Cohen: “I told him I don’t feel like he needs to be a superhero. We’re in this together as a team and we’re going to be supporting (him).”

But on the other hand, Aaron Rodgers’ name was invoked multiple times in referencing what Trubisky can do outside the pocket and on broken plays. Loggians said, “I think he’s going to be a special player.” The Bears’ offense will change with Trubisky under center, and while it may involve a more basic gameplan, it should be more dynamic.

Whatever the expectations are, Trubisky hasn’t shown a reason to think he can’t handle them. Trubisky hasn’t been phased by anything the Bears have challenged him with; in fact, he’s forced most of those challenges.

He went from being the Bears’ third-string quarterback at the beginning of training camp to earning first-team reps for the all-important third preseason game, then forced his way into being Mike Glennon’s backup when the season began (and almost forced his way into starting).

So the Bears, if they want, can set the expectations high for Trubisky. He’s already exceeded the ones previously put on him, after all.

“I think it’s the grit, the mental toughness — there’s so many characteristics that we could sit up here, you guys could name them, I could name them,” Loggains said. “Everything I’ve been around, being around Mitch, I believe he’s got ‘em.”