PHILADELPHIA — The Bears’ coaching staff believes every handoff or pass — completed or not — is good for rookie Mitch Trubisky’s development.
Not all experiences are equal, though.
The Bears should believe that, too.
What did Trubisky gain from the Eagles’ 31-3 mauling of the Bears on Sunday?
And why did the Bears run a reverse on second-and-10 from the Eagles’ 22 in the third quarter? It ruined Trubisky’s best drive.
The Eagles’ blueprint might not be suitable for the Bears. Their victory proved why the Rams’ approach might be the one to emulate: a fresh start with a new coach.
The Bears’ offensive approach isn’t working. Fingers should be pointed at offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, whose play-calling was openly questioned by several players afterward. But everything starts with coach John Fox. General manager Ryan Pace knows that.
The Bears surely need to add receivers for Trubisky as the Eagles did for Carson Wentz in his second season, but a change in philosophy also is required.
The evidence that Fox — with his defensive, conservative mindset — isn’t the right coach to oversee the Trubisky-led Bears is mounting.
Pace surely realizes that after seeing firsthand what coach Sean Payton built with quarterback Drew Brees in New Orleans. The stories Fox shares internally about winning despite Tim Tebow’s two completed passes or leading the NFL in negative runs with the Panthers trivialize the importance of developing the franchise’s key player.
“You don’t come into this job, whether it’s as a player or as a coach, with questions about your job security,” Fox said when asked why he thinks he and his staff are best for Trubisky’s development. “Frankly, I don’t give a rip. That’s not why I do this.
“Whatever happens to the things I control is I’ll work to control them, and that’s to get our football team better.”
When the Rams turned to quarterback Jared Goff last season, the expectations and evaluations of the team changed. The Bears are going through the same thing.
On Dec. 13, the Rams fired coach Jeff Fisher after a 42-14 loss to the Falcons, who, like the Eagles, had an MVP candidate (Matt Ryan)at quarterback and Super Bowl aspirations. Goff, the first overall pick, had only five starts at the time.
In other words, the Bears’ loss to the Eagles, while expected, should convey to Pace how far behind his team is from being truly competitive in the offensive-minded NFL. Fox seems to be making Trubisky’s growing pains more painful.
The Rams are the best example of what a shift in philosophy can do for a quarterback and a team. New Rams coach Sean McVay — the Redskins’ former wunderkind at offensive coordinator — has Goff playing like a No. 1 pick, and his team is in the playoff race.
Fox’s approach is diametrically opposed to what the Eagles have set up for Wentz, the second overall pick last year. Wentz (23-for-36, 227 yards, three touchdown passes, 109.4 passer rating) has learned under the quarterback-friendly triumvirate of coach Doug Pederson, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo for two years.
All three Eagles coaches have experience coaching quarterbacks and coordinating offenses in the NFL. Loggains is the Bears’ only coach with that kind of résumé.
Against the Eagles, Trubisky completed 17 of 31 passes for 147 yards with two interceptions. In his seventh start, he set a personal low with a measly 38.3 passer rating.
Trubisky’s progress wasn’t apparent against a good team. He continued to overthrow his receivers. It was a step back after playing well late against the Lions.
“I don’t like losing,” Trubisky said. “It’s a big motivator for me.”
Losing also is a big motivator for change.
For Pace, that starts with looking at Fox, knowing what offensive-minded coaches have done for Wentz, Goff and also Brees.
“A lot of things go into a quarterback’s success,” Fox said. “And we just were not good enough today.”
Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.