MORRISSEY: Mitch Trubisky had better get the chance to shine Sunday

SHARE MORRISSEY: Mitch Trubisky had better get the chance to shine Sunday

The Eagles’ Fletcher Cox sacks Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky on Sunday in Philadelphia. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Sunday is Mitch Trubisky Day. It’s the day he finally turns the corner, makes his first big strides, has the light go on inside his head and any other cliché you can think of that means, ‘‘The 49ers are in town!’’

The 49ers are — what’s the word? — horrible. That’s not me talking; that’s their 1-10 record doing the badmouthing. You’re right: The 3-8 Bears aren’t exactly adept at football, either. But the 49ers’ defense is so bad that Trubisky should walk away from the game at Soldier Field with confidence, if not a God complex.

This is the rookie’s opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a good NFL quarterback, to create some sunshine out of what has been a dark season for the Bears and to make the fan base sleep easier than it has most of year.

He has the physical ability to be very good. It just needs to be coaxed out of him, and the 49ers’ defense has that come-hither look. It’s ranked among the bottom 10 in the league in total yards allowed, points allowed, first downs allowed, third-down percentage, rushing yards allowed, passing yards allowed, passer rating, touchdown passes allowed and interceptions. If it’s looking for a nickname, I would suggest the Chiffon Curtain.


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Now that I’ve completely trashed the 49ers, Sunday is about a lot more than how bad the Bears’ opponent is. Trubisky has seven uneven starts under his belt. It’s time to see progress that isn’t measured in baby steps. He has thrown some beautiful passes this season, the kind of zippy, pinpoint tosses that offer hope of better things to come.

It would be wonderful to see him string a bunch of those together. Throw us a bone, kid.

If Bears coach John Fox decides to have his team go run-heavy, he should be fired at halftime. I know what many of you are thinking: ‘‘By all means, run the ball, then!’’

But this game isn’t about jettisoning a head coach. Nor is it necessarily about winning or losing. It’s about Trubisky coming away with 300 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a completion percentage above 60, none of which he has been able to do this season.

Of late, the Bears have taken to blaming other players for Trubisky’s struggles, which is beyond ridiculous; it’s hypocritical. Fox is the same guy who previously had refused to publicly identify players who blew assignments during games. And now the Bears are blaming receivers for not running routes correctly? If Fox is saying that bad routes caused Trubisky to throw passes three feet over their heads, as he did last week in Philadelphia, then those are some hellacious routes.

This season is supposed to be a series of building blocks for Trubisky. Failures can be building blocks, too. There’s a progression that needs to take place for most rookie quarterbacks, and he’s going through it. It has been rough, to say the least. His completion percentage (52.8) is the worst of any quarterback who has thrown 100 passes or more this season. The loss last week to the mighty Eagles was particularly difficult for him. It’s all a learning experience. Then again, so is being dragged a half-mile by a car.

If Trubisky’s offensive line can give him some time, perhaps his footwork won’t occasionally look like that of someone leaving a bar at 2 a.m. It’s doable. The 49ers have 20 sacks this season. Only five teams have fewer.

The 49ers will start Arlington Heights native Jimmy Garoppolo for the first time, and it will be fun to watch two quarterbacks with thin résumés and a lot to prove square off.

We’ll hear over and over that they aren’t competing against each other, but they are. The Bears traded places with the 49ers in the 2017 draft and chose Trubisky. The Bears reportedly had interest in acquiring Garoppolo when he was Tom Brady’s backup with the Patriots. Everybody will be comparing and contrasting.

Trubisky’s talents have been hidden underneath his inexperience and a coaching staff that doesn’t seem equipped to turbocharge his development. But those talents are there, no matter how much this dismal season has caused people to doubt him. And the doubting has begun, however prematurely.

It’s time for the kid to have a positive experience. This is his big day, his big adventure. Here’s hoping the Bears allow him to be himself. Here’s hoping they give him the chance to succeed.

Enough with the school of hard knocks. It’s time for recess.

Follow me on Twitter @MorrisseyCST.


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