Are Mitchell Trubisky's footwork/accuracy issues a long-term concern?

Are Mitchell Trubisky's footwork/accuracy issues a long-term concern?

Mitchell Trubisky put together his worst stat line as a pro Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles: 17/33, 147 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs and a 38.3 rating. Some of those rough numbers weren’t all his fault, according to his coaches: There were some issues with receivers not running routes well, and Dontrelle Inman was guilty of a couple of dropped passes. 

And the Bears only managed six rushing yards, the second-lowest single-game total in franchise history. That certainly didn’t help Trubisky, ether. 

But there were some things Trubisky needed to do better, specifically involving his footwork. That’s been a coaching point for him this week as the development of 2017’s No. 2 overall pick takes center stage over these final five weeks of the season. 

“He got caught bouncing a little bit,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “It was a tendency he had in college and we talked to him a lot about keeping his shoulders and head still, and he did get hoppy a little bit and there were some throws that were errant because of that. (It’s) something we’re going to keep working and grinding on that way.”

That Trubisky footwork, and by extension, his accuracy were a problem on Sunday is at least somewhat concerning. Accuracy was regarded as one of Trubisky’s best attributes coming out of North Carolina, and as recently as two weeks ago, one of his teammates (right tackle Bobby Massie) described him as being “accurate as s**t.”

Trubisky wasn’t able to totally explain why his throwing mechanics faltered in Philadelphia, saying he was “just not doing what I was coached to do.

“Overthinking or not being as focused, just not doing the right footwork. There might not be any particular reasons. Sometimes I did the perfect footwork, other times I was off by a step, other times a bucket-step where I’m not in line. Other times I’m fading in the pocket, moving when I don’t need to move because of the rush. Sometimes you feel those things as a quarterback and you’ve just got to fix them, and I will.”

What’s interesting is Loggains mentioned Trubisky’s “hoppy” issues were something they noticed on his college tape. Perhaps that’s something that happens to a rookie quarterback who knows the opposing defense — in this case, one of the best in the NFL — is going to be coming after him given the necessity to throw with a significant deficit on the scoreboard. 

“I don’t really feel like we need to give him an excuse on that,” Loggains said. “He needs to, you know, it’s just the grind of doing it every day and keep working at it. The good thing is it gives him something to work really hard at this week and he knows it’s a problem and he knows when he comes to the sideline if he ever misses a throw because he’s an accurate guy why it happened. So in just, so, making we continue to work through that process.”

Trubisky’s footwork/accuracy will be a storyline to follow through the final five games of the season. If he’s able to clean it up, then perhaps the Philadelphia game can be viewed as a blip — and a good lesson for what not to do the next time Trubisky encounters a situation that bad. If this problem persists, though, it could become more of a long-term concern, or at least something that’ll be a focus in the spring and summer. 

“It's an ongoing process,” Loggains said. “Obviously him acknowledging that he's doing it is a big step to fixing it. But when you get in the heat of the game, it's all the time and all the work you've done in the offseason, at practice, it becomes muscle memory instead of thinking about those things. 

“Sometimes in a game when it's going like that, you have to go back to the fundamentals. Hey, go get a completion right here. Think about your footwork. Make sure your'e going through the right progression. Make sure your eye is on the right spot. Those things we can help him in-game and it's going to be a process, just continue to work through it.”

Eric Ebron interacts with Akiem Hicks' NFC Championship tweet, causing free agency speculation

Eric Ebron interacts with Akiem Hicks' NFC Championship tweet, causing free agency speculation

Just as Bears fans were finally coming to terms with their disappointing 8-8 season, Akiem Hicks decided to pour some salt on the wound and take to Twitter, imagining what it would’ve been like if the Bears had made it to the NFC Championship game.

While we were all imagining how indeed “lit” it would’ve been to see the Bears play in the post-season at Soldier Field, Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron decided to quote tweet Hicks with a thinking face emoji. Curious behavior.

Ebron has played for the Colts since 2018, when he had a stellar first season in Indianapolis, scoring 14 touchdowns. In 2019, Ebron’s season ended after 11 games due to an ankle injury. He scored three touchdowns, reeling in 31 catches for 375 yards. Colts GM Chris Ballad has said that the organization is likely to move on from Ebron in 2020, meaning he would be available in free agency.

Tight end is one of the positions on the Bears long offseason do to list, and Ebron seems he could be a potential fit. Judging by their Twitter interactions, Akiem Hicks and Tarik Cohen seem to think so.

Hicks replied to Ebron telling him he could hear Bears fans calling his name. Cohen echoed this sentiment in his own tweet, albeit more cryptically.

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Ranking the most painful moments for Bears' fans during the 2020 Championship weekend

Ranking the most painful moments for Bears' fans during the 2020 Championship weekend

You may have noticed that none of the four teams that played this weekend were the Chicago Bears. They haven't played since the last week of December, but since this disastrous season won't end for another two weeks, there's been plenty of time for some especially painful parting shots. And weirdly enough, there were multiple moments through the two games on Sunday that reminded Bears' fans about the 8-8 season that absolutely no one is trying to remember. Shall we go through them? OK! 

4. Jimmy Garoppolo Beat The Packers To Go To The Super Bowl With 6 Completions 

Remember when the Bears were going to trade for Jimmy G? Back before they traded up to take Trubisky, rumors were swirling that the Patriots' backup was headed to Chicago. That is what it is -- everyone's connected to everyone at one point or another, and Bears have enough potential QB scenarios to give themselves a stroke over. The real kicker was beating the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers, while attempting eight pass attempts. Remember Nagy's I'm-Not-An-Idiot comment after running the ball 7 times against New Orleans. Imagine that, but it works, and it's in the NFC title game. The Bears couldn't beat the Packers on either occasion this season, and that included 98 pass attempts. That sound you hear is someone (you can choose, really) banging their head against the wall inside of Halas Hall. 

3. Raheem Mostert Rushing For 220 Yards and Four Touchdowns 

Truly an insane night for Mostert. He was briefly on the Bears during the 2016 season, which happened to be Jordan Howard's first and best. Mostert also was on three other teams (NYJ, SF, CLE) that year, and three OTHER teams (PHI, MIA, BAL) the year before, so it's not like the Bears are the only team sitting here with yolk on their face. Still, seeing an NFL journeyman get halfway to the Bears' total rushing touchdown number (8) in one game is the stuff that existential crises are made for. 

2. Robbie Gould's Kicking Well For A Super Bowl Team

Things were all well and good when Eddy Pineiro was hitting game-winners in Denver while Gould got off to one of the worst starts of his career. As the Bears' special teams unit watched from their rented South Beach group house, Gould went 3-3, including a franchise postseason record 54-yarder, in the Niners' 37-20 win. He started the season by being crowned champion of Chicago Football Madness, and now he gets a shot at ending it with another title, even if it's not quite as illustrious as the midwest's premier Bears-only online bracket challenge. 

1. Literally Everything Pat Mahomes Did All Day 

The decision to trade up for Trubisky was bad, but honestly, the endless stream of barely-distinguishable versions of the same snarky tweet may be worse. At some point Bears fans are going to have to come to terms with Pat Mahomes playing for the Chiefs, but it sure as hell won't be this year. In their defense, everything he does makes you physically stop whatever else you're doing and figure out what noise just came out of your mouth. Bears fans are robbing themselves of the best Mahomsian experience by insisting on slamming the Caps Lock button anytime the Chiefs play, but with each new height that Mahomes and the Chiefs reach, it becomes harder and harder to blame them.

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