LAKE FOREST – While he’s been out of the lineup and on the bye week, he’s had plenty to think about when it comes to the start of his third NFL season.
It hasn’t been pretty a lot of the times for Mitchell Trubisky, who hasn’t been able to turn a corner in the second year of Matt Nagy’s offense. He’s got just three touchdown passes on the season, with all of them coming in his third game, with two interceptions and just 588 yards and a quarterback rating of 81.
All put him close to the bottom of the NFL in those categories as the offense has struggled under himself and Chase Daniel, averaging just 17.4 points per game.
With full participation in practice on Wednesday and more improvement to his injured left shoulder, it appears Trubisky will get his shot on Sunday to face the Saints at Soldier Field. It’s the start of 11-straight weeks of games that will define his future for the Bears along with the 2019 season, since there is plenty of work to do to make the postseason at 3-2.
So where does Mitchell start when it comes to improving his along with the offense’s performance? Trubisky did have one specific thing that he believes could spark the offense: Solid plays on first down.
“We had some drives where we were good on second and third down, but we were so bad on first down that we put ourselves in a hard position to really convert and keep going,” said Trubisky. “I always tell the guys the first-first down is usually the toughest for us, so once we get that, we kinda get rolling, we gain some confidence, and we get going.
“It’s always ‘One Play at a Time,’ but you really want to be good on first down and give yourself a good chance to get going.”
To make that happen, Trubisky will have to start a bit faster after his shoulder injury which didn’t happen in 2018 against the Rams at Soldier Field. He was noticeably off all game, hitting just 16-of-30 passes with three interceptions and a touchdown, but the Bears’ defense carried the offense in a 15-6 win.
Things were better the next week against the Packers as he went 20-for-28 with 235 yards and touchdowns without an interception in a NFC North-clinching victory.
Should he return to full health, he’ll have the task of finally getting the Bears offense to the level where many expected in the second year of offense.
“Make sure we’re just executing, because that’s pretty much what it comes down to,” said Trubisky. “If all 11 guys are doing their job, we’ve got enough talent to make it happen, we’ve just got to believe in it.”