If John DeFilippo knew the secret formula that solved inconsistency in football players, he wouldn’t be the Bears’ quarterbacks coach.
“I probably wouldn’t be sitting here,” he said this week. “I’d probably be in Cabo somewhere with a boatload of money.”
Instead, he and the Bears’ coaching staff are trying to get quarterback Mitch Trubisky to — for the first time in his career — consistently carry success from one week to the next.
And yes, last week’s 17-point, fourth-quarter rally after three abysmal quarters was technically a success. In fixing a disaster of his own making, Trubisky posted a 104.2 passer rating, well above the NFL average of about 88.
For a quarterback who struggles to be consistent from quarter-to-quarter, one week certainly seems to have no effect on the next. That’s what makes the game Sunday against the Giants so intriguing.
Oftentimes, when Trubisky believes he turns a corner, he hits a wall.
Playing under coach Matt Nagy for the first time in 2018, three of Trubisky’s five worst games in terms of passer rating — 69.8 against the Patriots, 76.0 against the Bills and 61.9 against the Vikings — came immediately after a game in which his rating was in triple digits.
Last season, his two worst passer-rating games were preceded by triple-digit performances:
—He followed a 131.0 passer rating at home against the Rams with a 65.1 against the Rams. That game ended with Chase Daniel playing and the Bears saying Trubisky had a hip injury.
—He posted a 116.5 in Week 3 in Washington. The next week, he hurt himself on his third throw and left with a 70.1 passer rating. Two games later, he returned healthy against the Saints — and needed to throw for two garbage-time touchdowns and 138 yards in the final five minutes just to finish with a 86.3.
—His 118.1 rating in a Thanksgiving victory against the Lions yielded, amazingly, a 115.5 rating in the next week’s win against the Cowboys. He followed that, though, with a 64.5 rating in the Packers loss.
“Consistency, it’s important to all of us,” Nagy said. ‘‘We all want to be consistent and Mitch wants to be consistent. Now we get a chance to come out here, we get to play -another game, Week 2, and see as a team how consistent we can be.
“I keep coming back, we like to work off the positives that happened in the fourth quarter, the consistencies of making good throws, blocking well, making great catches and putting that all together. If we can get a lot of talented players on this team to execute and put that together, it could be pretty special. But we got to do it consistently.”
Bill Lazor is the third coordinator tasked with coaxing consistency out of Trubisky. -Sunday will be the first time he’ll see how Trubisky processes what he learned from the previous week.
Both with the Bears and at previous stops — Lazor ran offenses in Cincinnati and Miami — Lazor has connected consistency with following proper procedures during the week. He has his quarterbacks make a list of everything they need to study about a defense — first-, second- and third-down tendencies, and preferences in short-yardage, long-yardage, the red zone and more — and tackle them on the same days each week.
“At the end of the week, if you can go to that list, right, you’ve developed a disciplined procedure, a routine for the week,” he said. “And you can look at the list and you’ve checked them all off, then you can have confidence that, ‘I’m prepared the way I’m supposed to prepare.’ ”
The secret, he said, is that there is no secret.
“It’s probably a boring answer,” Lazor said. “But the reality is I just believe you go one play at a time, one game at a time.”