The Ravens tried to trick Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky through change.
As offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains explained Wednesday, the Ravens played cover-2 — two safeties over the top — on 41 plays after only showing that look once in the first five weeks. Trubisky was surprised by it.
“I’m sure a lot of it was to try and take away certain things he does,” Loggains said. “The first thing he says after the game is, ‘Wow, they did a bunch of stuff they had not shown.’
“And he handled that well. That’s the part that no one talks about and no one really knows outside of our building.”
Consider it a mature performance by a rookie in his first career start on the road.
Trubisky adjusted to the adjustments that the Bears made offensively. The game plan — one that did include changing launch points and shots down the field — changed.
The rookie with a gunslinger’s mindset accepted his role as a manager, one who needed to be mindful of the risks he took with his throws and one who had to hand the ball off 50 times.
Trubisky surely will make mistakes in the future, and he could struggle immensely against the Panthers’ fourth-ranked defense Sunday.
But through two games, Trubisky has shown that he can be flexible from game to game and that he’s capable of making good decisions under duress. Those are two positive attributes that bode well for any quarterback, particularly a young one.
“I thought he did a really good job [and] just managed the game, playing the way like he had to,” Loggains said. “But he was still aggressive. I hate the term ‘manage,’ but he was playing the way he needed to play to win that game.”
Trubisky threw the ball away six times against the Ravens, which meant only two of his 16 passes were truly incompletions. The situations and plays of those throwaways were different, but his risk-adverse mindset stayed the same.
And that’s unlikely to change.
“Sometimes the best play is a throwaway,” Trubisky said. “It’s just coming down to me learning. [It’s] continue to stay aggressive — wanting to get a completion every time — but being smart and knowing when I need to throw the ball away and live to play another down.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera wouldn’t describe Trubisky’s decision-making as “rare” for a rookie, but he said it does speak to his intelligence level as a quarterback and “his desire to not take a negative play.”
“That’s probably the biggest thing that you take away from it when you watch these things as a man — good decision there, good to see he didn’t try to force it,” Rivera said. “He understands that right now. It’s all about him developing and making good decisions.
“[Throwaways are] part of it. Sometimes the best throw is the one that’s thrown away. He’s doing a good job for what they want him to do, and they’re going to start to grow their offense with him and expand that playbook.”
Of course, the Bears will. Trubisky provides too much in his skill set.
But playing smart transcends play calls.
“For me, it just comes down to doing what’s best for the team,” Trubisky said. “You can’t get selfish wanting to force every pass — that just doesn’t make sense. So just me trying to play smarter and put my team in the best position to be successful each drive and come out winning games.”
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