Playing quarterback at a high level in the NFL is one of the most difficult things to do in all of sports. It requires so many elements, ranging from a quarterback's own talent level to the supporting cast and coaching staff around him. But one of the most critical variables in great quarterback play is consistency, which is something Mitch Trubisky has struggled with through three seasons as the starter for the Bears.
Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner chatted with Fox 32's Lou Canellis and said Trubisky's good moments have been tarnished by his bad ones.
“All you see with Mitch is a lack of consistency,” Warner said. “You see big moments, you see big throws, you see big plays where you go, man, bottle that up and we’re going to be just fine.”
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The 2018 Trubisky is a better example of the big moments when he led the Bears on an unexpected 12-4 playoff run that included the team's first NFC North title in eight seasons. He regressed to a player with more bad than good in 2019 and has pundits expecting GM Ryan Pace to add legitimate competition for the starting job this offseason.
But Warner cautioned against giving up on Trubisky too soon, saying there's no timeline for quarterback development in the NFL.
“I didn’t become the quarterback I was until 28 years old,” Warner said. “I had to play a lot of football, and it wasn’t in the NFL. But I played a lot of football in that time to learn how to play quarterback.
“There’s no timetable on how this thing works."
It's true that there's a lot of uncertainty when it comes to when a team should move on from a quarterback who's failed to live up to expectations. The pressure to find a replacement is even higher when quarterbacks from the same draft class are thriving, as is the case with Trubisky, who entered the NFL with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
Trubisky entered the NFL after throwing just 572 passes as a college quarterback at UNC. Compared to Mahomes, who had 857 attempts, and Watson, who threw 1,207 college passes, it's reasonable to expect a longer learning curve for Trubisky, who simply wasn't ready to start right away in the pros.
And that's why he'll be given one more season to prove Pace was right when he drafted him over both Mahomes and Watson. It was a gamble on Trubisky's upside.
But the leash is short. Trubisky can't cost the Bears a chance at a playoff run, especially not with a defense in place that can contend for a Super Bowl if the offense does its job.
It's easy to get frustrated and demand change. However, when a Hall-of-Famer like Warner preaches patience, it'd be wise to take his advice.