Welcome to NFL: How Vikings will try to trick Bears QB Mitch Trubisky
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The Vikings will try to trick rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, disguising coverages and bluffing blitzes, in his debut Monday night.
“Obviously, that’s important,” coach Mike Zimmer said via phone Thursday. “Probably give him some looks that he has never seen.
“Experience is a factor as a quarterback in the NFL. And when a guy doesn’t have a lot of experience at that position, you try to take advantage of it as best you can.”
There’s a risk in trying to do too much — “If something looks good on the blackboard, it doesn’t mean you can execute it,” Zimmer said — but the Vikings are confident they won’t regret showing Trubisky schemes he has never seen.
“We don’t try to make it easy,” safety Harrison Smith said.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has seen it firsthand. He was a scouting assistant with the Cowboys in 2005, when Zimmer was their defensive coordinator. Even against experienced quarterbacks, Zimmer is notorious for his double-mug blitz in which two players blitz over each shoulder of the center.
“His defense is very tough; it takes on his personality,” Loggains said. “They do disguise, they do a really good job. The thing is, there’s a large sample size for Mitch to study and see and go through.”
Before being named the Vikings’ coach in 2014, Zimmer served as a coordinator — for the Cowboys, Falcons and Bengals — for 13 years.
“We need to make sure we’re doing enough,” Loggains said. “There’s a fine line between pushing the envelope and being creative and doing enough, where it’s also not overload for him, and he understands exactly what that plan is.
“Sometimes it’s trial by fire.”
Trubisky said Tuesday that the Vikings “are going to bring us a bunch of different looks,’’ but they haven’t shown the double-mug blitz as often this year.
“I think other teams are expecting that from them now, so they’re showing other looks,” he said. “But when they do show that, we’ll have an answer for it.
“You’ve got to be ready for as many things as they can throw at us.”
Until Trubisky proves he’s unfazed by disguise, the 2017 No. 2 pick should see similar strategies the rest of the season — and beyond.
“It’s a copycat league,” Loggains said. “When they see you’re deficient in one area, they’re going to do things to take that away. Whatever you put on tape, that’s your résumé, that’s how they attack you.”
Trubisky’s athleticism and ability to throw accurately on the run will lead to more play-action and rollout plays, but Zimmer said he doesn’t expect a complete overhaul of the Bears’ offense.
The Bears will continue to rely on their running attack — that is, when they’re not playing catch-up.
“If he had to drop back and throw the ball every snap, it’d be different,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer listed Trubisky’s talents — “He’s got a strong arm, moves well in the pocket, can make all the throws,” he said — and even praised his two-minute drill from the Bears’ first preseason game.
Zimmer has developed his own first-round quarterback before. In 2014, No. 32 overall pick Teddy Bridgewater was thrust into action earlier than the Vikings planned when, in Week 3, starter Matt Cassel broke his foot against the Saints.
In Week 5, Trubisky, too, will play earlier than his team thought.
“You have to kind of mold things to the quarterback — and that’s kind of the same way with every offense, though,” Zimmer said. “The quarterback is the key to it. You kinda just gotta do what he does good.”
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