By Robert Zeglinski
One of the innate qualities that separates Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from the pack is that he’s never a prisoner of the moment. Whether it be after disappointing finishes to both the Vikings and Lions earlier this season, or following a virtuoso performance against the Bengals on Sunday, he knows there’s much work to be done before he can be counted on as the face of the franchise. Before any judgment can be made on his career a mere nine starts in.
It’s clear he’s not going to accept credit for one good game in savoring one victory for too long.
“You put all the hard work in, and it’s good to reap the rewards from putting in a lot of hard work this week. But you’ve got to move on,” said Trubisky.
Performances like Trubisky had against the Bengals, where he had a career-high 112.4 passer rating, accounted for two touchdowns, and completed 78-percent of his passes, are examples of why the Bears invested the future of the organization into the 23-year-old. They’re why Ryan Pace felt so strongly to trade up for the young quarterback so as to not let him fall through the team’s grasp.
More than anything, they’re an example of a quarterback getting comfortable, trusting his playmakers and himself that he belongs with the big boys.
Sometimes, those on the outside just need a reminder.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 10, 2017
For Trubisky himself, he could care less about that assurance. He knows what he’s capable of. He understands where he could ultimately take the Bears franchise. One dominant performance against the Bengals is but a small sample size of everyone else patting him on the back for something he already understood: validation definitely notwithstanding.
“I don’t know about the validation part, because I feel like that is kind of on the outside (of the building), but I just feel confident I’m getting better each week,” said Trubisky. “And, yes, it’s fun to play, but I get feedback from my teammates.”
That’s a fair point made by Trubisky. Ultimately, all that matters after his own evaluation is how those closest to him see his progress, meaning his teammates. How they judge him to be coming along. Who they know as the guy who has to succeed if they’re to achieve anything of consequence in the coming years.
Judging by the amount of glowing praise Trubisky’s received of late, like in brutal honesty from right tackle Bobby Massie, his progress is at much more than a snail’s pace. It’s blazing.
“Mitch will tell us, shut the f— up in the huddle. Mitch has got some balls. He’s going to be a good quarterback,” said Massie in the post-game, talking about what separates Trubisky.
It’s not often you have offensive linemen respecting a quarterback so early. Just a few weeks ago, guard Josh Sitton had similar comments regarding Chicago’s No. 10.
“Get the f — back in the huddle, and don’t break it until I break it.’ He kind of cussed at all of us linemen, and I was like, ‘Hell, yeah. I respect the s— out of that,” said Sitton.
The line is the most tight-knit group of any football team. They don’t take new members lightly. There’s a measure of credibility you have to gain with many of them, especially in regards to toughness. The quarterback often is seen as the “pretty boy” in retrospect, which is fitting considering Trubisky’s “Pretty Boy Assassin” nickname. So for him to earn the respect of the grinding hogs up front not even double-digit starts into his promising career, speaks volumes of the kind of leader and player he already is.
Say this for any inconsistencies he might endure through the last three games of the 2017 season: the Bears believe in Trubisky. He’s accomplished virtually nothing individually or took them to any promised land, but he’s already won them over in a landslide.
Those out on the outside looking in may expect struggles or a valley of a performance after Trubisky eviscerated the Bengals, but not the Bears. Far from it. They already see greatness. They already anticipate the very best. They already see the jaw-dropping calm play that leaves a defense like Cincinnati’s helpless and an offense united under the dynamite catalyst a great quarterback becomes. It’s a quiet but calming confidence.
Trubisky can’t disappoint this team, because it’s his, under his command. All that’s left now is to build on his elevation and consistently show the rest of the world what the Bears see every day more than the occasional December start.
Kendall Wright, a six-year NFL veteran, put Chicago’s glimmering hope into the clearest possible perspective after he carved through the Bengals.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 11, 2017
“That’s why you trade up and get a quarterback (Trubisky) like that. He played light outs, and he’s really becoming a leader and he’s really coming into his own, just being himself.”
Robert is your guy for all things Bears. You can find him on Twitter: @RobertZeglinski.