The most important offseason of Mitch Trubisky's career hasn't had the best start with Wednesday's news that he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He's expected to make a full recovery in time for team activities in April, but his limitations as an NFL passer have never really been about his physical ability. It's what happens between Trubisky's ears that's lowered the ceiling on his expectations.
Despite GM Ryan Pace's insistence that quarterbacks develop at different speeds, and that Trubisky is not yet a lost cause, the Bears took a big step toward finding out once and for all if the former second overall pick can develop into a franchise quarterback. The hiring of quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo will essentially be the final investment in Trubisky; if he can't mature into a legitimate NFL starter under DeFilippo's watch, he likely never will.
DeFilippo will lean on his experience with other young quarterbacks in his effort to unleash Trubisky's high-end traits.
"I've had a lot of experience with a lot of young players, that's just kind of been the situations I've been thrown into," DeFilippo said Wednesday on Bears All Access. "I think that's a good thing. I think that helps you learn how to teach a bunch of young guys. Obviously, Mitchell's not a rookie or a second-year guy, but at the same time, he's still kind of a fresh player in the NFL who's impressionable, and you can shape him in certain things you want him to do.
"I think a lot of the young guys I've had have had success. Whether it be Derek Carr, Carson Wentz, Gardner Minshew was a seven-time rookie of the week this year. I think it's going to help our team and I'm really looking forward to helping Coach Nagy and Coach Lazor in doing what they want to do."
Expectations for Trubisky aren't exactly high in 2020. But if DeFilippo can get him to play more like the guy we saw in 2018, the Bears won't have much of a quarterback controversy. Unfortunately, Trubisky hasn't done anything through his first three seasons that suggests he'll take that leap in Year 4. He probably just is who he is, but even if that's the case, his play should at least be more efficient with DeFilippo in his ear next fall.