Mitch Trubisky

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?

Tarik Cohen channels his ‘inner Mitch’ to throw a TD, match a guy named Wee Willie Smith

Tarik Cohen channels his ‘inner Mitch’ to throw a TD, match a guy named Wee Willie Smith

BALTIMORE — The thought crossed Tarik Cohen’s mind as he wound up to throw to an open Zach Miller: Could I be the shortest person to ever throw a touchdown in NFL history?

Not quite. But the 5-foot-6 Cohen was the shortest player to throw a touchdown since Wee Willie Smith, a former defensive back and tailback for the New York Giants, threw one in 1934.

“Wee Willie? Shout-out to Wee Willie,” Cohen said, upon being told of that information. “I’m Wee ‘Rik.”

The Bears took a 10-3 lead on Cohen’s 21-yard floater to Miller, the latest trick play deployed by offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains since Mitchell Trubisky took over as starting quarterback in Week 5. Cohen became the first Bears running back since Adrian Peterson in 2007 to throw a touchdown, too.

Cohen said he threw for four touchdowns in college at North Carolina A&T, though the statistics from that school show he threw for two. FCS stats are sometimes spotty; either way, the point is he’s done this before. And it makes sense: Cohen’s ability to be explosive on the edge means opposing defenses will sell out to stop him.

That’s what the Ravens did on Cohen’s touchdown. He read safety Eric Weddle crashing toward the line of scrimmage, so even though he couldn’t see Miller flashing open, he knew he would be. Cohen said he might’ve thrown the pass a little too high — “it was like a movie scene,” in slow motion, Cohen added — but hey, it still worked.

“It was a dime,” Cohen said. “I feel like I channeled my inner Mitch.”

So how did the Bears quarterback feel about Cohen’s throw?

“A-plus, on the money,” Trubisky said. “Dime ball. He’s awesome. I knew it was going to be a touchdown when it was called.”

Mitchell Trubisky showed progress against Ravens, and now can improve off a win

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USA TODAY

Mitchell Trubisky showed progress against Ravens, and now can improve off a win

BALTIMORE — If you’re looking for progress from Mitchell Trubisky from his first start on Monday night to his second on Sunday, his decision-making was better against the Baltimore Ravens than it was against the Minnesota Vikings. 

To that point: Facing a third-and-three near the end zone in the second quarter, Trubisky rolled to his left, didn’t see anyone open and threw the ball away. That was not the time to force a throw into coverage and risk turning the ball over. The Bears settled for a chip-shot field goal and took a 3-0 lead. 

“When you get in the point zone, you take an incompletion over a risky throw,” Trubisky said. “Didn’t put ourselves in a lot of sticky situations for that, we came away with points and it paid off in the end. Try to learn from my mistake last week, forcing the ball when I didn’t need to, this week play within myself and took what the defense gave me. And that’s a really good defense out there so it’s good to come away with a win, especially on the road.”

The Bears won, 27-24, not necessarily because of what Trubisky did (8/16, 113 yards, 1 TD), but more for what he didn’t. Jordan Howard carried 36 times for 167 hard-earned yards, 53 of which came with the Bears backed up near their own goal line in overtime. Tarik Cohen carried 14 times and threw as many touchdowns as Trubisky. The first wide receiver to record a catch was Kendall Wright about six minutes into the third quarter. 

“It’s all about what’s necessary to be done for the team and what you have to do to get a win,” Trubisky said. “Today, my job was to manage it (and) take care of the football.”

Trubisky, with time, won’t be asked to “manage” many games. But while we’re still in the nascent stages of his development as an NFL quarterback, and with the Bears’ coaching staff needing to win games, that’s what the task was on Sunday. He was asked to make a play in overtime, with the Bears facing a second-and-11, and he found Wright for an 18-yard reception that set up Connor Barth’s game-winning 40-yard field goal. 

That might’ve been a difficult situation for a rookie quarterback who hadn’t thrown the ball much — let alone with much effectiveness — for four quarters of the game. But that it wasn’t for Trubisky was a reminder why the Bears invested their highest draft pick in decades into him. 

“For a normal young guy it’s tough,” Wright said. “I don’t know how normal Mitch is.”

Trubisky’s biggest mistake came when he lost a fumble when Lardarius Webb sacked him and dislodged the ball, which C.J. Mosley recovered.. But after the game, Trubisky already seemed to have a grasp on what he did wrong on that play — he said he moved off his first read too quick, which caused him to not be able to see the blitzing cornerback. 

When he watches the film, Trubisky — and the rest of the offense surely will identify more things he could’ve done better. But unlike last week, he’ll be watching a game the Bears ultimately won. And that’s what counts, right?

“Every win is a good win,” Cohen said. “We might’ve got it ugly, but it’s a good win. So you gotta take that and run with it and try to run with it and string games together. And it’s really encouraging because we know that we made our mistakes so if we correct those, we know what kind of game it’s going to be.”