Bears

Bears 'absolutely in' on Mitch Trubisky moving forward

Bears 'absolutely in' on Mitch Trubisky moving forward

As the Bears get ready to battle the Cowboys in the first of a four-game stretch that will determine whether there's meaningful football in Chicago in January, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Thursday night that there's little debate in Halas Hall about who the quarterback of the Bears will be in 2020.

"Every opportunity the Bears' brass have had to support Trubisky, they've offered him full-throated support," Rapport said. "They believe there's many other issues in the offense, including receivers running the wrong route, issues with the run game, play-calling, penalties, far more than Mitchell Trubisky. 

"(The Bears) are absolutely in with him going forward."

It's easy to support Trubisky after his fantastic showing in Week 13 against the Lions when he threw for 338 yards and three scores, a performance that earned him the FedEx Air Player of the Week. But it would be foolish to ignore the first half of the season when Trubisky looked overwhelmed and ill-equipped to thrive in the NFL.

The Bears and Trubisky are having something of a mirror-image season. The next four games will determine how 2019 is defined. If Chicago loses another game, they're likely looking toward 2020. And if Trubisky has another questionable showing, GM Ryan Pace will have no choice but to at least bring some competition to the roster this offseason.

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Patrick Mahomes gives Matt Nagy ringing endorsement

Patrick Mahomes gives Matt Nagy ringing endorsement

The story of the Chicago Bears 2017 NFL draft is a tale of what could've been. Had GM Ryan Pace decided now-Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes was a better quarterback prospect Mitch Trubisky, it's conceivable that Chicago, not Kansas City, would be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

It's a nightmare Bears fans will live through for years and years (and years, and years). And that nightmare isn't limited to the Soldier Field faithful. Coach Matt Nagy has first-hand experience of what life in Mahomes could've been like in Chicago after working with the strong-armed gunslinger as the Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2017.

Mahomes, who sat that season behind veteran Alex Smith, said Nagy was a big influence in his first year as a pro.

‘‘Nagy was amazing with me and my transition into the NFL," Mahomes said this week from Miami, via the Chicago Sun-Times, "being able to relate to me, being able to go out there and let me play fast and be who I am."

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Mahomes attempted just 35 passes that season, but Nagy's role in his jump from Texas Tech to the NFL made a lasting impact.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Nagy after two seasons with Trubisky. It isn't necessarily Nagy's fault, although questions about his play-calling ran wild throughout the 2019 season. But Trubisky's physical skill-set isn't (nor will it ever be) comparable to Mahomes'. There's a lot less for Nagy to work with and we may never see his real impact on the quarterback room until the Bears decide to move on from the former second overall pick.

Mahomes will forever haunt Bears fans. But maybe, just maybe, hope remains with Nagy in charge. And maybe, just maybe, he'll have the same Mahomes-effect on whoever QB-next is in Chicago.

Danny Trevathan declares himself fully healthy as free agency looms

Danny Trevathan declares himself fully healthy as free agency looms

Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, one of the team's most important defensive leaders, was limited to just nine games in 2019 after suffering a gruesome left elbow injury in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions. It was a tough break for Trevathan, who's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

Trevathan finished the 2019 regular season with 70 tackles and one sack and had the Bears' sixth-highest run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus.

Teams searching for a physical and instinctive linebacker will rank Trevathan high on their wish list, but his history of injuries will create hesitation in paying top dollar for his services. He's managed just two 16-game seasons in his eight-year career.

Fortunately for Trevathan, his injury wasn't the type that should limit his effectiveness in 2020. He took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce he's back to full health and ready to resume football activities, and presumably, to cash-in on the open market.

This is great news for the Bears and GM Ryan Pace, who in an ideal world would love to have Trevathan lined up next to Roquan Smith in their Super Bowl quest. But with fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski also due to become a free agent, Pace has to decide whether Trevathan is a better investment than Kwiatkoski, who proved he's capable of high-end starter's production when he was given opportunities to play in 2019.

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Kwiatkoski played 512 snaps last season (compared to Trevathan's 559) and finished with just two fewer tackles and a higher PFF season grade. He was an effective pass-rusher, too, finishing the year with three sacks.

Regardless of which direction the Bears go in free agency, Trevathan's return to full health is good news. Chicago can't go wrong with who they choose to line up as their starting linebacker in 2020.