Bears linebacker Khalil Mack high fives fans as he leaves the field after the Bears win over the Vikings Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. — Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com
Bears linebacker Khalil Mack high fives fans as he leaves the field after the Bears win over the Vikings Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. — Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com

Ask Hub

Bears Insider Hub Arkush answers subscribers Bears/NFL/Life questions in every newsletter:

Hub ... Mitch Trubisky had surgery [last] week on the shoulder (non throwing shoulder) he injured in the Minnesota game in Chicago. Can we say a big reason Mitch wild throws is because he was playing with a "bum" shoulder? I may be reaching here, I just want Mitch to succeed here! Submitted by Tony G.

Tony, my best guess is no, that wasn’t the problem.

The reality is I think Mitch actually played better after a couple weeks back from the injury. Clearly, he was playing with an injury that required surgery and probably experiencing some real discomfort, and I wouldn’t minimize that in any way, but you have to remember it was his non-throwing shoulder this year and after injuring his right shoulder in 2018, he also missed just two games and came back fine.

Trubisky’s problems in 2019 did relate to inaccuracy and bad timing on throws at various points, but his bigger issue was an inability to see the field and read coverages and defenses, and that had nothing to do with his shoulder.

2019 was such a huge disappointment for the Bears, so was 2018 a fluke? What should fans realistically expect from this team in 2020?

No, 2018 was not a fluke. The defense was as good as any we’ve seen this century and it continues to possess All-Pro talent at every level. With a few sharp decisions in free agency this offseason and Chuck Pagano in his second season – remember, 2018 was Vic Fangio’s fourth season building and coaching that group – there is a good chance the 2020 season could be just as good as ’18 on that side of the ball.

There was a bit of “puck luck” getting 27 interceptions and 36 total takeaways in 2018 that we knew wouldn’t be repeated in ’19, and losing Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith all to injuries this past season certainly didn’t help.

The Bears were one of the healthiest teams in the NFL in 2018, much like the Packers were in 2019, but we should have expected that was more luck than anything else and injuries certainly took their toll this past season.

The Bears also played the easiest schedule in the NFL in 2018 and one of the toughest last season.

On offense, clearly trading away a Pro Bowl running back with no answers as to who would replace him was a mistake, and the injury-plagued campaign of Trey Burton exposed the poor evaluations on Adam Shaheen, which were covered up a bit in ’18 when Burton was productive.

David Montgomery looks like he can be the next Jordan Howard, but the Bears badly need a true No. 2 running back – who could be Cordarrelle Patterson, if they’re willing to commit – and upgrades at left tackle and the "Y" tight end.

However, that is not at all too much to get done in one offseason and if Mitch Trubisky just plays back to his 2018 form, the Bears can contend again n 2020.

After Trubisky wins the MVP next season (57 td passes) will the Bears make him the highest paid player in football? Submitted by Ernie McCrackem

No. I’m assuming you’re just being a troll Ernie, but some folks occasionally accuse me of avoiding questions I don’t want to answer or waste time on, so I won’t skip yours, but I also won’t give it any more time than it’s worth.

Again, no!

Is the coach who will lead the bears to a SB victory currently on the team? Submitted by Dan Hawker

Dan, it's a fascinating question but obviously one I would need to have at least some powers of extra sensory perception to answer, and I’m afraid I don’t.

For all the haters around Chicago today, Matt Nagy remains a two-year NFL head coach with one Coach of the Year Award and impeccable credentials for what you’re seeking, but it is hard to ignore some of the disappointing things he did in 2019.

Nagy continues to be quite well regarded by executives around the league – bringing them back from 3-5 by winning four of their next five to get back in the playoff hunt impressed a lot of objective non-Bears fans – but it is fair to wonder whether he has enough respect for the run game or the ability to design and use it well enough to balance out his offense at a “winning” level.

I’ve seen enough overall to still believe he gets the problem and has the smarts to fix it.

I just don’t know him well enough yet to know if ego or stubbornness are getting in his way and could keep him from taking the next step. I am impressed enough by the culture he and Ryan Pace have built and how much his players like playing for him to believe that is the big question he has to answer.

Chuck Pagano should get a chance to be a head coach in the NFL again, but if it were with the Bears it would have to be because Nagy failed, and for that to happen there would likely be a fair amount of personnel turnover bringing into question whether or not the Bears would have the talent for a Super Bowl regardless of who the coach is.

But Pagano may be a Super Bowl-type head coach.

Dave Ragone and John DeFilippo are highly thought of young coaches who could eventually have head coaching opportunities ahead of them — it’s just too soon to tell.

Can the Bears win another Super Bowl under the current ownership? Submitted by Chuck Chuckelson

Yes they can Chuck, as long as the family continues to stay completely out of the football side of the operation — as they have ever since George McCaskey took over for Michael — and they hire the right football people.

While they aren’t there at the moment, with no more than 4-6 of the right additional players and continued development of Matt Nagy as a head coach, they could contend as soon as the next year or two

Why are you such a Bears apologist? Submitted by some jerk

Let me ask you a question: While I know it is a minority and probably a small minority of which you are obviously a member, why is it that some Bears fans are ignorant enough to believe that any analyst who insists on being objective and looking at both sides of every issue is a homer or an apologist?

Had you read, watched and listened to all my work, you’d know you couldn’t be further from the truth with your question.