Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is a star-in-the-making
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
It’s making me crazy.
People — even some who know something, apparently — are saying Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is going to be a dud. They imply he is a modest flop already, with disaster lurking around the corner.
I saw something in my own beloved newspaper Tuesday that made me hallucinate with relived horror.
There it was: Trubisky and former quarterback Jay ‘‘Don’t Care!’’ Cutler mentioned in, dear God, the same sentence.
Now, I love my fellow columnist, Rick Morrissey. I love his family. I even love his dog, Brewster, a corgi mutt that does little but eat, sleep and pretend to be interested in squirrels he won’t chase.
But Morrissey actually wrote this in his column: ‘‘Mitch Trubisky is a lot like Jay Cutler.’’
In my view, Trubisky is to Cutler as a young chipmunk is to a rat on d-CON.
Yes, Morrissey spent much of the rest of his column explaining that this was just a loose comparison, that Trubisky is ‘‘eager and bright-eyed’’ and Cutler was a bucket of blah, that the jury was still out on Trubisky, that the harshest criticism of him came from national pundits.
Morrissey himself merely was noting that critics are out there and that Trubisky, in only his second season in the NFL, is still a bit of an unknown.
Yet the linking of Tru and Cutty with anything resembling language, symbolism or the vaguest of imagery gives me shivers of despair, of life without meaning, of the darkest abyss.
Can I explain how much I — and, I think, most Bears fans — suffered during the Cutler era, also referred to as the Great Ennui?
Some dude named Michael Lombardi, a former Browns general manager, said on radio: ‘‘You couldn’t get me to buy Mitchell Trubisky if you had him on a discount rack at Filene’s Basement.’’
Look, I’ve been on media shows, and I know the accountability-free atmosphere goads you into saying extreme things and, eventually, stuff that is half-insane.
But this Lombardi guy — I mean, what?
First, Filene’s Basement went bankrupt in 2011. Second, Lombardi was the Browns’ GM when Mike Pettine was hired to be their coach in January 2014. In 2015, Pettine went 3-13 and was fired. Oh, and Lombardi was fired just after hiring Pettine.
At any rate, Trubisky isn’t a dud, a bust or a bad draft pick. He is on his way up, not down. He has played in only 21 NFL games. He’s learning. He’s excelling. He’s becoming the leader Cutler never was.
Earlier this season, I said what we needed from Trubisky was a breakout game, something like what second-year superstar-in-the-making Patrick Mahomes was doing with the Chiefs, something that showed us he could do what only the really big boys do.
And he did it. On Sept. 30 against the Buccaneers, he threw for 354 yards and six touchdowns and had a 154.6 passer rating.
Then he did it again Sunday against the Lions. He was 23-for-30 for 355 yards and three touchdowns and had a 148.6 rating. Plus, he ran for a touchdown.
A lot of NFL quarterbacks would love to have either of those days at any time in their careers. In four of his last six games, Trubisky has had a passer rating higher than 100. That’s outstanding. And he has rushed for 320 yards and three touchdowns so far.
Is he Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Joe Montana? Is he even Mahomes? We don’t know. We won’t for a while.
It’s not likely he’ll be a Hall of Famer, but how many players in football history are? Then again, maybe he will be.
A very good (and hardworking and caring) quarterback at the helm of the Bears is all anybody in Chicago can ask for. The rest is luck and gravy.
Maybe Trubisky will stink it up Sunday against the Vikings. That won’t change my mind. Maybe he’s not perfect on long throws yet, but I think he’s a star.
Rick Morrissey, I forgive you. Brewster, go back to sleep.