Developmental daze: Mitch Trubisky made mistakes that need to happen

DETROIT — So maybe Mitch Trubisky didn’t turn the proverbial corner last week after all.

His three-interception performance Saturday in a 20-10 loss to the Lions at Ford Field served as another reminder that he’s still very much a rookie.

He’s still a student in driver’s ed who won’t get his license until next year under a new coach.

RELATED STORIES
MORRISSEY: John Fox’s conservatism is bringing down Mitch Trubisky
Flag football: Bears doomed by own ineptitude, lose to Lions 20-10

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky struggled against the Lions. (AP)

But if this were truly a season dedicated to Trubisky’s development, this faulty effort would’ve occurred earlier in the schedule, and everyone would’ve been better off because of it.

“Everyone throws picks, but it’s how you respond to it,” said Trubisky, who completed 31 of 46 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown and had a 66.8 passer rating.

“It’s just never giving up, [a] next-play mentality. It’s just always believing you can make the next throw.”

In the long run, Trubisky should benefit from this game. He made some big-time throws in a loud building, including a 22-yarder to wide receiver Markus Wheaton with pressure in his face.

But Trubisky’s mistakes need to happen because that’s what rookie quarterbacks do in the NFL.

Defenses can be confusing, throws can sail on you at times and you’re not always going to be in sync with your receivers.

It’s all supposed to happen. It’s what Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford experienced while throwing 20 interceptions in 10 games in his first season.

The problem is that coach John Fox tried to prevent it all in the early going with a conservative approach. He tried to win despite Trubisky, installing game plans that limited risks at all costs.

Fox arguably would’ve been better off allowing Trubisky to fail in every way imaginable because the Bears would be better for it in the future. Instead, it’s Fox’s future with the team that’s in doubt.

After the game, Lions cornerback Darius Slay, who had two interceptions, said on NBC’s broadcast that Trubisky “stared down a lot of things.”

Slay’s first interception came on an overthrown pass to wide receiver Kendall Wright down the sideline early in the third quarter. His second was the result of a miscommunication between Trubisky and tight end Daniel Brown, who cut off his route on the Bears’ last play.

“I don’t think I was [staring down receivers],” Trubisky said. “I was more looking guys off or trying to see what they were doing. They play coverage with their eyes on me the whole time, so it probably looks like I’m staring at them. I’m just trying to move guys and find my receivers open.”

That said, Trubisky already knows he won’t like replaying defensive back Quandre Diggs’ interception in the fourth quarter. He picked off Trubisky in the end zone, ending a productive 10-play drive that reached the Lions’ 5. 

“I just lost him in my vision,” said Trubisky, who thought he had wide receiver Dontrelle Inman in single coverage. “I just got to throw the ball away so we could get a field goal and not force it.”

In the end, it’s a mistake to learn from. He needs them. And as strange as it sounds, the Bears need them.

Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com