By Robert Zeglinski
They say to patiently wait for the best things in life. If that’s true, then despite the Bears falling short in the much-hyped rookie Mitchell Trubisky’s debut on Monday night to the Vikings, there’s plenty to look forward to.
After roughly a month of an angry mob slowly forming calling for Trubisky to start, it would’ve been incredibly difficult for the young quarterback to live up to what the Church of Mitchell, i.e. Soldier Field on Monday, wanted.
Somehow, as he routinely fired bombs on rollouts to Bears receivers such as Kendall Wright and Tre McBride, none of that mattered to the rookie whatsoever. As he calmly fired those strikes into the heart of an excellent Vikings defense, Trubisky was un-phased by the moment in his debut as much as he appreciated all of the support.
“It was fun. The crowd was electric. I have to thank them for coming out and being loud and really supporting us. It is just one start—so, take the good with the good, the bad with the bad and roll from there and know it is the first one and so it can only get better,” reminisced Trubisky about what he’ll remember from Monday.
For quite literally everyone else besides the rookie, this was the beginning of the rest of their football lives. For Trubisky, it was an opportunity to play in front of his family – who made the trip out to Chicago for his debut – and learn from his mistakes to get better. Nothing more.
Exactly what you want from a franchise quarterback. Always on to the next one.
And still, you couldn’t help but notice some of the praise Trubisky was receiving from his teammates and coaches in the post game, despite the loss. Most notably from the notoriously tight-lipped head coach in John Fox. It’s one game but color the veteran coach impressed.
“He’s got what it takes. There’s no doubt in my mind. For a first game, I go back to watching guys like Montana in his first game. I’ve seen a few of them. I’m not making comparisons at this point. But he will do nothing but get better,” said Fox.
Sure Fox contradicted himself mentioning comparisons – as usual – but he still put one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in the same sentence as Trubisky. Not an aspect to be taken lightly. Especially for a coach that’s been around professional football as long as Fox has.
It takes a lot for Fox to show any kind of emotion or praise on a regular basis for his players publicly and here’s a bright rookie doing it from the outset to him. Ho-hum.
Trubisky is the bright new face at Halas Hall. The face of optimism and hope for a fan base starving for a Bears contender.
That’s why you see rally towels flying in the fourth quarter of an October regular season game as they did Monday night.
That’s why there’s a standing ovation for Trubisky as he stepped onto the field to begin his first start. This is what palpable energy and excitement about a football team looks like. A foreign concept of late in Chicago.
Trubisky means everything to this franchise and football city at the moment. Provided all goes well, he will become the favorite son of Chicago for a long time.
What will be most crucial in that love manifesting is that the most vocal critic of Trubisky isn’t a coach. It isn’t a family member or close friend either. It’s the 23-year-old impressively self-evaluating on the fly, as all franchise quarterbacks should do.
“… I’m going to fix my mistakes, and I’m going to watch this film and be critical of myself. They know I’m going to get better. I appreciate them having faith in me and having my back, but yeah, I feel like it’s on me,” said Trubisky, accepting the brunt of the blame for the Bears’ loss.
For months, many wondered whether Trubisky was mature or experienced enough to start quickly for these Bears. After displaying the maturity he already has, as well as taking charge of his team, those concerns have gone by the wayside. The face of the franchise is more than prepared to grow up and change the history of a recent bottom-dweller.
One game in and Trubisky is already showing glimpses of being the player Chicago originally envisioned when drafting him. Of being the leader and beacon of hope this franchise and fanbase needs.With the Bears well out of the playoff race at 1-4, the rest of 2017 will primarily be the opening chapters of the story of Mitchell in Chicago. As it should be.
Monday night’s defeat wasn’t a roadblock for Trubisky and didn’t impede any of his rapid progress either.
Instead, it accelerated the most important developmental process the Bears have had in quite some time. A team and quarterback on the cusp. A rookie debut with flash that offered something underrated that this franchise hasn’t consistently enjoyed in years.
Robert is your guy for all things Bears. Find him on Twitter: @RobertZeglinski.