As he enters what will be his third official season in the NFL, Mitchell Trubisky will be asked to take a major step forward in his development.
Technically, it feels like it’s his second year in the league as he prepares for a second offseason in Nagy’s system. But it most certainly is a critical one. The improvement he showed between his rookie year and sophomore year was palpable. Visually and statistically, there were a lot of things that clicked for him.
That said, he is far from a polished product. His biggest issue is his lack of consistency. If he can maintain some modicum of stability, there’s a real possibility that Trubisky could go from an above average quarterback to a special one.
He absolutely would’ve passed the 30 touchdown mark on the year if he didn’t miss road games against the Detroit Lions and New York Giants. That’s a milestone that hasn’t ever been done by a Bears quarterback (Erik Kramer had 29, Jay Cutler had 28). He also could’ve broken Kramer’s single-season passing record of 3,838 yards (Tru had 3,228).
Biscuits will break, likely shatter these records one season (ideally next year), but what if this was his ceiling? What if his development caps out early? Maybe he winds up being nothing more than an above average starter and nothing more. God forbid he becomes the ‘Blake Bortles of the NFC North‘.
The second half in the loss to the Eagles would suggest otherwise as he made several gutsy and clutch throws to give the Bears a chance to win. All season long, he never quite had a fourth quarter that was super noteworthy or special. Usually, the defense would take over and he would need to simply not turn the ball over:
Sunday proved to me and many others that he has many more special fourth quarters in his career to come. Next season, he must take the next step. Something he is more than capable of doing.
But in a league where nothing is guaranteed, the jury will remain out on this growing star.
Until he gives them a reason to shut up.