Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky must use legs to make defenses pay

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have struggled against man coverage this season due to injuries at the receiver position. But Mitch Trubisky just discovered a way to crack that code: running the football himself.

Guys, I’ve been watching Chicago Bears offensive tape from Sunday’s loss, and one thing keeps standing out: these receivers cannot get away from man coverage. And it’s really killing Mitch Trubisky.

I mean really, though.

Both of the New Orleans Saints’ sacks of Trubisky came when blitzing while in man coverage. On both occasions, Trubisky didn’t really have a chance to do anything about it, either. There were no hot routes, no one uncovered and there wasn’t room to escape.

On a few other occasions, the Saints pelted Trubisky on blitzes as he just released the ball. The general problem on those plays: he’s holding the ball waiting for someone to get open. And typically, unless he’s throwing to Kendall Wright, that’s not happening a lot.

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By the end of that game, though, Trubisky had had enough. And once he recognized man-to-man in the fourth quarter, he started making a run for it.

For his sake and that of the Chicago Bears, he should honestly do this as often as he feels like doing from here on out.

His legs could be an X-factor for this offense.

Getting out of Dodge

Having taken a few sacks and hard hits as well as often having nowhere to throw the ball when the Saints went to man coverage, Trubisky flipped a switch in the fourth quarter.

On their second-to-last drive of the game, he ran three times, all against man coverage.

The first run on 3rd-and-10 was negated due to a penalty, but the instincts were immediate. The moment he stepped up to escape pressure, he saw the middle of the field wide open and didn’t hesitate.

As said before, the 11-yard run came back due to a penalty. But as it turned out, that was totally fine. On the very next play, Trubisky went for 46 yards instead.

He stepped up to escape pressure again and initially looked like he wanted to throw to Daniel Brown after shrugging off a tackle. But again, he sees the Red Sea part once Brown clears out and hits the gas. And if you didn’t realize it yet, Trubisky has some wheels.

Then, after completing a pass to Kendall Wright to get the ball to the 13-yard line, Trubisky sees man-coverage again on first down. Once again, he immediately takes off.

If he runs straight and slides, he probably gains a few more yards while also protecting himself (most likely) from a big hit. But that’s something he’s going to learn with time. Tarik Cohen eventually punched in a touchdown a few plays later.

The important takeaway from these plays is that Trubisky sees what we’re seeing: his guys aren’t getting open quickly enough against man-to-man. And particularly in crunch time when the ball has to move, he may have to take more burden on himself.

Fortunately, making the quick decision to take off may be a fitting way to punish defenses for running that scheme.

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Of course, he’ll need to be careful as practical, getting north-and-south instead of simply running to the sideline and sliding the moment things get dicey. But the fact that he’s showing that he can step up and escape through the pocket will make defenses adjust their schemes a bit.

Plus, it’s another tangible sign that Mitchell Trubisky is, in fact, learning at the NFL level. Let’s hope he keeps developing this part of his game as well as his passing prowess.