Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is as excited about talented rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky's NFL debut as anyone, but he knows even the second overall pick in the draft can't do it alone.
"Obviously, I'm a huge Mitch Trubisky fan," Loggains said. "I believe in him. I think he's going to be a special player. I just want to do my part in the whole thing and help him and help the other guys -- get the other guys to play well around him. Because I think he's capable of playing at a high level.
"He's worked really hard, and he's as close to ready as any rookie I've ever been around. So we're excited to see him play."
For Trubisky to realize his potential, Bears receivers must stop dropping the passes that helped sabotage Mike Glennon's four starts. According to STATS, the 1-3 Bears are tied for third worst in the league with 7 drops, and that's a conservative number.
It's a subjective statistic, and a more critical accounting would put the number at 10 or more.
It won't get any easier for Bears pass-catchers Monday night at Soldier Field. They'll be operating against a talented Minnesota Vikings defense and a gifted secondary led by safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
"To get good quarterback play, the other 10 guys on the field need to do their jobs," Loggains said. "Mitch Trubisky is a very good young player, but he is not a magic wand.
"We need to play better around him. That starts with me and goes to every position group. We've got to eliminate drops. We need to eliminate the negative runs and the negative plays because it's really hard to play quarterback when it's second-and-15 and it's a known passing situation."
"Old pro" running back Tarik Cohen, with all of four NFL games under his belt, had some advice for his fellow rookie.
"I told him I don't feel like he needs to be a super hero," Cohen said. "We're in this together as a team, and we're going to be supporting him."
Loggains said there are numerous reasons he's bullish on Trubisky, even though the original plan did not have him making his debut until later in the season or even next year.
"(It's) how fast he's processed things," Loggains said. "(It's) his work ethic … all the things he's done since he got here -- learning the playbook, learning the terminology, which is not easy coming from a college offense."
Because of Trubisky's rare ability to make plays on the move and extend plays by avoiding pass rushers, it allows Loggains to expand the playbook. But he cannot pile too much on the quarterback's plate so soon.
Loggains said, "There's a fine line between pushing the envelope and being creative," but not overloading the rookie and making sure he understands exactly what that plan is. Game experience might be the only way to find out how much of the playbook Trubisky can handle.
"Sometimes," Loggains said, "it's trial by fire."
Some of Trubisky's best plays could occur when the heat is most intense. Just because his protection breaks down, it doesn't mean the play is over.
"It's really like having two plays," Cohen said. "When something goes wrong on the (original) play, then it's really just backyard football. Then it's just things that Mitch is good at, scrambling around and finding the open guy.
"The route might break down, (but) he scrambles out and makes something happen."
That would be a welcome sight for an offense that's 29th in scoring.
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