Mitch’s last stand
So, last week news broke that Mitch Trubisky won the starting job over Nick Foles. You would think being in the offense for a third straight year would be a given, but again here we are, talking about a woefully inaccurate quarterback that processes NFL defenses like he’s still running Windows 95. When you’re Head Coach says you need to work on “recognizing coverage’s”, that’s….not good. That’s what they tell college sophomores, not grown ass 25 year old’s after three NFL seasons. For all the positive vibes from camp about his mechanics, attitude, and command, when the bullets start flying, he is going to make bad choices, and worse throws. NFL coaches know this. Opposing defensive players know this. You can tweet all you want, professional adults that live and breathe this sport for a living know he is not good.
Now, if he was say a late first rounder based on his tools like that Jordan Love fella in Green Bay, he would be receiving a lot less acrimony. Hell, if got drafted a year later, the hell away from that Mahomes and Watson duo, again…a lot less hell coming his way. Frankly, he’d better off in an offense like Watson is in. I have seen bits and pieces of what Houston is doing, and they are “Clemsonizing” their playbook for sure, keeping Watson on the move and using RPO’s. Those are types of things that fits ole Mitch’s tool chest, but at the same time, it withers down your own playbook.
However, when your team are missing arguably a potential Hall of Fame Receiver like the Texans were on Thursday night against the Chiefs in the opener, one guy can only do so much. Again, the rabble go on if Watson has a solid, but less spectacular season that we are accustomed to. If ole Mitch is going to shine, with new coaches that have worked together and have had NFL experience (so, not Mark Helfrich), and a gaggle of Tight Ends that should be surprisingly effective, then here it is. After 2020, we will have a much better perspective on both QB’s.
Side Note: The learning curve has been way too steep for Mitch, especially with this mutated and hyped up West Coast offense Nagy borrowed from Andy Reid. The OG West Coast offense from the 1980’s curated by Bill Walsh required short to medium throws with incredibly specific timing, and that’s why noodle armed Joe Montana carved people up.
The career backup
So what about Nick Foles, the nicest guy in the universe? Let him come in after three or few weeks with more weeks of practice under his belt, and he’ll slowly take over. HE is what he is. At best, a solid borderline starter than can succeed in the right offense. The keys to the kingdom is that O-line being respectable and those Tight Ends. If he had a normal off season to get throws in before camp started, he’d probably would have taken the job. You know the highs and lows with Foles, and he could very well go out have a real shitty game, but that’s part of it. He has proven to have a dash of NFL success, so he has a semblance of the benefit of the doubt. Mitch will do his thing for a few weeks, run into trouble, and find his ass on the bench, most likely never to start an NFL game again, and will go the route of RG3 and find himself in NFL purgatory of holding clipboards as athletic backup QB than comes in for gimmicky nonsense. Been nice knowing ya, Mitch.
***Side note 2: “Why didn’t the Bears get Cam Newton?” I know, right!? Because 31 year old injury plagued guys who have never been in the West Coast offense in their lives are a total match. (turning sarcasm down now.) Newton is gonna run the ball downhill with New England’s bevy of Tight Ends and smash mouth it. Just like he did at Auburn and his whole career with the Panthers. Tight formations with multiple backs and rarely have three receiver sets, you know like the rest of the league is doing. The Pats will make a nice concoction for him over there as they know how to morph their offense around their QB’s and how the league is trending, but Nagy’s West Coast grad level class is not his cup of tea.
Get ahead of the sticks
Last blog, I touched upon the coaching changes, and now with both guard spots allegedly improved, the offensive line should hopefully move people enough to keep things honest for the defense. To quote Doc Holliday, “by whatever do you mean?” If you are an offense, you want to be at the least in 2nd and 6, or 3rd and 4. Obviously, 2nd and 4 or 3rd and 2 gives you a bevy of options because you can run or pass in those scenarios. Perpetually sitting and 2nd/3rd and long has Def coordinators salivating because odds are, you will pass. Now they can cue up trickier blitzes, and heaven forbid if you have a semblance of any tendencies formation wise they have seen on film, the film nerds on the other side will call your shit out.
Winning the down and distance battle is like being ahead of behind in the count for a pitcher in baseball. Getting that first strike is like putting the offense at 2nd and 8. A pitcher falling behind 2-0 is like the offense being at 2nd and 3. I’m sure you can figure out the other areas of the analogy. The Bears almost repeatedly found themselves behind the sticks last year, and it really stripped down the possibilities of possible plays to run, therefore tilting the scales to the defense.
A play callers sheet has steps of plays after their preferred first downs. So based on what happens, as well as location on the field they move to either the 2nd and short column or 2nd and medium. Play calls become limited on longer downs, especially if you’re QB is adapt at you, know, passing. All bearing in mind, the offense is more than welcome to run shit that worked later in the game, but at least put in a slightly different formation, or switch a player or two personnel wise. Nagy was basically handcuffed like the guy in those creepy Saw movies.
Let’s wrap it up
I keep thinking the Bears will be better than what the pundits are giving them. Then I thought about it today. Even with that arguably top 5 defense, even if the offense moves to 15th if everything clicks, that’s still an average if “10th best” if you ranked like that in theory. Again, that’s not “how it works”, as there are a modicum of other ways to tell how good a team is, DVOA, effeminacy measurements, you name it. IF everythign breaks right, they win the divison, and see what happens in the playoffs. If the season kind of sludges along, some kye pieces get hurt, it’s 7-9 city. The majority of the roster that almost cracked the divisional round in 2018 is still here. Let’s see what they can do.