On Wednesday, Dowell Loggains said having Mitchell Trubisky throw 46 times in last weekend’s loss to the Detroit Lions was an “awesome opportunity.” Coach John Fox didn’t necessarily see it that way, given Trubisky had to throw so much because the Bears were losing by multiple possessions for the majority of the game.
“It’s kind of Catch-22 when you get in that situation,” Fox said. “There’s no doubt you expose the quarterback more when you do that. So it’s a fine line. From an experience standpoint, I can see what Dowell’s basically relating that to. But again, you want a guy to have success. I think Mitch has kind of made that steady success. As I mentioned even after the game, people just see the box score and the interceptions. But there were really some tremendous reads, tremendous throws that knowing Mitch to this point he’ll learn and grow from.”
Fox has argued that Trubisky has played his best game in each of the last three weeks, following games against San Francisco, Cincinnati and Detroit. There wasn’t much arguing against the Bengals game (25/32, 271 yards, 1 TD, 112.4 passer rating), of course. While Trubisky played well against San Francisco (12/15, 102 yards, 1 TD, 117.2 passer rating), he did so within the confines of a conservative gameplan that only resulted in one scoring drive. And against Detroit, Trubisky did make some good throws and do some operational things better, he still threw three interceptions, one of which came on third down from the Lions’ five-yard line.
Ideally, for Fox, the Bears wouldn’t have had Trubisky throw 46 times, because that meant the score of the game dictated what they’d do offensively. And that’s fine — Fox’s job is to win games, though he hasn’t done that in three years with the Bears (13-33). But it does miss the bigger picture for the franchise, which seems likely to move on without Fox in 2018: The development of Trubisky is paramount, and the best way to develop him is to have him throw as much as possible.
Trubisky hasn't been afforded that chance on a consistent basis, though. Perhaps a 4-10 team will keep those opportunities coming in the last two weeks of the season, even if the coaching staff isn't put in a position where they have to throw the ball.
“Just as many reps as you can accumulate, that’s how he’s going to grow,” Loggains said. “That’s how he’s going to better is being able to sit back and do those things, having poise in the pocket, in every game that you get to play in you start to become more comfortable in the pocket, sitting in there and understanding the timing of each play, reading coverage. There’s nothing you can do, as much work as he spins and virtual reality and watching tape, there’s nothing like getting the real thing.”