Nick Foles seems to be people’s choice in his competition with Mitch Trubisky for the Bears ‘starting quarterback position – which is quite ironic, given that Foles’ only significant success in the NFL is quarterback No. 2. If you are sure that Foles is the best quarterback for the Bears, perhaps you should ask him to lose the competition. Historically, it is much better to the rescue.
And don’t count Trubisky yet. Although the former global choice n ° 2 was not Patrick Mahomes and did not show the instinct to make games that do not exist, to transform bad situations into touchdowns and to put a team on the back, it is not irreplaceable. Trubisky may respond better to the challenge of open competition than he did to pamper himself in his first two years in the attack on Matt Nagy. He’ll probably never justify the price the Bears are the No. 2 overall choice and the price the Bears paid for it – much more of a project than a natural one. But he has a fight in him.
And although Trubisky deserves his share of the blame for last year’s regression, it is possible that Nagy was a drag on the offensive as much as Trubisky or more – the mediocre racing game, the lack of capable narrow ends, game planning and play-calling. If all of this is a problem in 2020, the Poles will not have much more of a chance to get the offensive out of the mud.
If the Bears had choice # 1 or # 2 in the 2020 plan, it would be a different conversation. But this is not the case. They have Nick Foles, who has had more than his share of the Mitch Trubisky 2019 moments in his career. The friends may be the favorites in this competition, but it’s crazy to pretend that Trubisky has no chance – or no right – to win it. May the best quarterback win.
2. Fun fact: Trubisky was not a smuggler in the 90s in the past two seasons. In 29 starts, he was less than 87.0 (an NFL high 19 times) or more than 101.0 (10 times). He is the only NFL quarterback to have played more than half of his team’s games during this period with this distinction.
This is a questionable statistic, but also an indication that the Trubisky ceiling is still quite high under favorable conditions. So the question is this: does the quarterback make the offense or does the offense make the quarterback?
At the elite level, there is no doubt that everything revolves around the quarterback. But below that level, it’s often as much about the offense. And bears no longer have to look too far to find evidence: Nick Foles. In a bad offense, he was inferior – worse than Trubisky. In a good attack, he had spectacular success. So if you think Foles will excel in an improved attack on Nagy, it’s a bit of a stretch to totally dismiss the idea that Trubisky can also thrive.
3. In replacement of the starting quarterback, Foles is 20-11 with 97.6 passers in his career. In fact, excluding his rookie season in 2012 – when he was 1-5 replacing Michael Vick in a bad Eagles team that fired Andy Reid – Foles 19-6 with a passing rating 103.2 as a replacement, including the glorious Super Bowl race after the 2017 season.
But when Foles entered the season as a starter, he was generally worse than Trubisky – 9-13 with a passing score of 76.4 with the Eagles in 2014, the Rams in 2015 and the Jaguars last season.
4. For what it’s worth, Foles was a quick study under Andy Reid and Doug Pederson. As a rookie in 2012 with the Eagles, the Poles launched a 70-yard touchdown pass in their first pre-season game; his pre-season score of 110.1 was fifth in the league.
In 2017 with Pederson and the Eagles, the Foles did not play in the preseason due to an elbow injury. But his first pass of the season – in week 9 – was a 35-yard completion. And in his first start – in week 15 – he threw four touchdown passes in a victory over the Giants on the road. The rest is history.
5. It will be the Bears’ first “open competition” in the quarterback since 2008, when Kyle Orton defeated Rex Grossman (with the decision made before the third pre-season game). Orton started 15 games this season – missing a game due to an injury – and went 9-6 with a passer rating of 79.6 (18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions) who finished 25th in the NFL.
The Bears finished 9-7, missing a playoff spot when they lost to Texans 31-24 in week 17. The Bears switched to Jay Cutler in the following offseason. The rest is …
6. A potential advantage of the Trubisky-Foles competition – the Bears will likely play their entries more in the preseason to give Nagy a true assessment of the two players. Under Nagy, the Bears were among the leaders in the league-wide trend of starting seated for most of the preseason to avoid injury. But although it ensures health, the quality of the game at the start of the season seems to suffer.
7. NFL draft should be delayed at least a month because of COVID-19 quarantine – at this point, what is the rush? The opening of the off-season program is not imminent.
But if the NFL insists on carrying out its project on the scheduled date of April 23 to 25, it would not be a big surprise if there were not more “failures” with this shortened process than with the process of usual managed micro draft. Some teams could do better.
8. The Bears 2020 project chooses to click: Second round (no 43): Grant Delpit, security, LSU; second round (# 50): Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame; third round (no 92, via trade): Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue; Sixth round (no. 196): Oluwole Betiku, Edge, Illinois; Sixth round (# 200): Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa; Seventh round (no. 226): Jon Runyan, G, Michigan; Seventh round (# 233): Sewo Olonilua, RB, TCU.
9. Award for player of the week Josh McCown, ex-bear: Former Bear defensive lineman / Israel Idonije aid society, Blessed Communion, which produces disposable pre-filled communion cups designed for “a hygienic and effective solution to serve communion,” has seen demand soar before Easter in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Idonije, who founded Blessed Communion in 2009 while still with the Bears, told CNN that the company’s production had doubled from 300,000 to 600,000 a day last month. The cups contain grape juice at the bottom, with a blister in a sealed compartment at the top.
10. Bear meter (7-5) – against buccaneers (canceled); at Falcons (canceled); vs Packers (canceled); at Titans (canceled); against the Vikings (W); at Panthers (W); against Colts (L); at Jaguars (W); at Packers (L); against Lions (W); against Texans (W); at Lions (L); against Saints (L); at Rams (W); against the giants (W); at Vikings (L).
(Note: Although these are Bears 2020 opponents, the actual schedule is expected to be announced in May.)