Back in October, Bears coach Dave Ragone had this to say about quarterback Mitch Trubisky: “With any quarterback that I’ve been around as a player or I’ve coached, you want to play to that person’s strengths or what the defense is essentially giving you per play.”
On its face, it’s not exactly the most enlightening quote – it’s hard to see that being slapped on a poster for your middle school’s library any time soon. But considering Ragone’s role – and more importantly, his latest promotion to passing game coordinator – it’s worth revisiting that quote in the wake of the Bears’ latest coaching hires.
In December, Matt Nagy said “I think I know Mitch better than anybody in this building, except maybe Dave Ragone.” Ragone and Trubisky’s close relationship has been well-documented, as is the case with most QB coaches and their students. John DeFilippo – who will take Ragone’s old job – was close with Nick Foles, and new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was close with Andy Dalton, etc.
Read between the lines of these latest hires and you can see the same message the Bears have been trying to send all offseason, if not longer: Mitch Trubisky is their starting quarterback now, and Mitch Trubisky is going to be their starting quarterback next year.
Now that the full staff is hired, it’s hard to look at the moves and not see an implicit endorsement of Trubisky. Ragone didn’t get the Bears’ OC job, as some people predicted he might, but after four years as the team’s QB coach, it’s nonetheless notable that he got promoted. His track record with Trubisky certainly deserves a long look, but personal politics shows up just as much in Halas Hall as it does in any other office space, and Ragone is clearly well-liked and respected with decision makers in Lake Forest.
Next comes the hiring of DeFilippo, whose stock is undoubtedly lower than it was just a few years ago when he was a candidate for the Bears’ head coaching job that eventually went to Nagy. He’s still considered one of the league’s better QB coaches, though, and if you’re to believe some of the reports out there, he chose Trubisky and the Bears over other offers.
With DeFilippo in place, the offensive coaching tree breaks down somewhat similarly to what it did last year, when the Bears surrounded Trubisky with
maybe too many enough coaches that OC Mark Helfrich could concentrate more heavily on run schemes. Between Nagy’s role, Ragone’s increased voice, and DeFillipo’s experience, the 2020 Trubisky Braintrust now looks armed and fully operational.
And yeah, maybe that means DeFilippo was told something about the quarterback situation that we don’t know. Maybe he turned down other jobs because he knows he’s going to get one of the free agent reclamation projects out there.
But when the owner says that Mitch is The Guy, and the GM says Mitch is The Guy, and the Coach says Mitch is The Guy, maybe, just maybe, Mitch is the Guy. And when you promote the person closest to Trubisky while hiring multiple offensive coaches who already have said QB reclamation projects on their resume, that probably means Mitch is The Guy.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.