Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky warms up last month. (A:)

Other rookie QBs show Mitch Trubisky’s play about 2018 Bears, not 2017

SHARE Other rookie QBs show Mitch Trubisky’s play about 2018 Bears, not 2017
SHARE Other rookie QBs show Mitch Trubisky’s play about 2018 Bears, not 2017

Those curious about new starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky don’t have to look back too far for a reasonable range of expectations. On Sunday, the Texans’ Deshaun Watson and the Browns’ DeShone Kizer — drafted No. 12 and 52 in 2017, respectively — had different, memorable starts.

Watson threw four touchdowns in his first home start and ran for a fifth in a 57-14 blowout of the Titans. He is 2-1 as a starter since taking over for Tom Savage.

“[Players] believe in him,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien told reporters after the game. “He’s got a fantastic way about him.”

Kizer, the only other rookie quarterback to play this season, went 16-for-34 for 118 yards and an interception, dropping his passer rating to a league-worst 50.9 and his record to 0-4.

“Each week you lose is a wake-up call,” Kizer said.

Trubisky should land somewhere in the middle when he makes his first career start Monday against the Vikings.

Rookie success is a product of each player’s circumstances. Devoid of quality receivers, the Bears aren’t the Texans, but they’re not the Browns, either.

They’re certainly not the Cowboys, who, because of two injuries last year, put fourth-round pick Dak Prescott behind the league’s best offensive line — and in front of the No. 4 overall pick, running back Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott won 13 games, tying Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s record for the most ever by a rookie quarterback.

A healthy offensive line and a re-emergent Jordan Howard could give the No. 2 overall pick a substantial margin for error, given his athleticism and accuracy throwing the ball on the run. Still, he’ll be up and down. Not making the same mistake twice will be Trubisky’s true measure of growth, not statistics.

The Bears didn’t promote Trubisky with plans to be this year’s Prescott, though he gives them a better chance to win than Mike Glennon: rather, they want to start the clock on his development. That seems to have worked for the top two picks of the 2016 draft. No. 1

pick Jared Goff started seven games last year and had a passer rating of 63.6; this season, it’s 112.2. Carson Wentz went from 79.3 in 16 starts last year to 90.5 this season.

Both Goff’s Rams and Wentz’s Eagles are 3-1 and in first place.

“Like any business, I say all the time that experience is the best teacher.” said Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, who served as former top pick Jameis Winston’s coordinator in 2015. “So for any young quarterback coming into the league, I think they just need to play.”

Trubisky’s test starts Monday.

His final grade won’t come until 2018, at the earliest.

“Let’s wait and see what happens after two to three years; after defenses understand what you’re bringing; you’re not a surprise anymore,” Roethlisberger said. “I think it takes a few years until you can really get that title of understanding being great or even good, because you see so many looks. In Year 2 and 3, you’re still seeing looks and can act like a rookie.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley



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