Fans struggling for reasons to keep their televisions turned on and tuned in to the disappointing 3-5 Bears as the second half of the season gets underway, know you’re not alone.
One week after the Bears instructed freefalling Mitch Trubisky to watch the television tape of their defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers — a form of self-scouting his on-field body language amid his continued struggles — the third-year quarterback said Wednesday he’s turning off the televisions inside Halas Hall.
“Yeah, I've done pretty good with that,” Trubisky said Wednesday during his weekly Halas Hall appearance, when asked whether he’s managed to stay off social media and block out the growing faction of doubters.
“Trying to get some of these TVs in the building turned off because you've got too many people talking on TV about us and what they think about us — what we should do, what we are and what we're not — but they don't really know who we are or what we're capable of as people or what we're going through or what we're thinking. It's just the outside viewers looking in. So, tunnel vision, ear muffs and just come to work everyday and try to get better and get back to what we know we're capable of doing.”
Suffice to say, Trubisky only poured additional fuel on the fire Wednesday for his critics who believe the third-year quarterback doesn’t have thick enough skin and the mental fortitude that’s necessary to thrive at the position.
In a vacuum, the television remark is harmless. But it was the latest in a line of Trubisky’s perceived missteps on increasingly shaky footing at the podium, from panicking last month and blurting out that the team told him not to talk about the previous game, to his assessments of his own play at times conveying greyness when there should only be black and white, if not flashing neon, to illustrate its shortcomings.
Trubisky's on-field results, of course, are what matter most — making his similar lack of awareness there far more damning.
Matt Nagy was asked Monday whether pressure from Eagles DT Fletcher Cox was partially to blame for his quarterback's first wild misfire Sunday — on Trubisky's first pass attempt — targeting a wide-open Allen Robinson in the flat on third-and-9.
“It’s so early in the game. It’s your first throw. There’s no expectation of pressure. You can’t have it because you haven’t had a throw yet to know if there is pressure. It ended up being a little bit of a factor for James [Daniels] to get pushed back like he did. ... But I don’t think it was enough to where it affected (it). Mitch wasn’t thinking that going into the throw. A-Rob ran a nice route and we missed it.”
In the second quarter, on another third-and-long, the Eagles gave the Bears an un-scouted look with Jim Schwartz widening the stance of his interior D-linemen, almost entirely vacating the tackle box to create chaos and an instant meeting at Trubisky. Rather than check at the line, perhaps to a designed QB run up the middle or a quick pass, Trubisky said he stuck with the original play call, after Nagy confirmed Monday an adjustment was needed.
“It was an un-scouted look and my thought was that they were going to bluff out of it, that they weren’t going to bring it, so we had the line sliding not the direction of the overload because we hadn’t seen that,” he said. “So we were going with our game-plan look, something we decided to go with. I’d like to have gotten the ball out sooner, you’d like to change that and we have conversations on the sidelines. That’s just one of those plays where you come back from, correct it and move forward.”
Unfortunately, the longer the wait for Trubisky and the Bears' offense to move forward, the more his actions on and off the field will be dissected.
“I think just as an offense, everyone’s [got to] do their job,” he said. “I’ve got to do my job and all the other guys got to do their jobs, too, and when we do that we can be a really good offense.”
Meantime, as the evidence suggesting otherwise keeps mounting, the likelihood of it being his job outright next year quickly falls.