Ask Hub: Trubisky issues dealt with seeing the field, reading defenses
I have the answers to Bears and NFL questions from readers, including those from profootballweekly.com.
• Mitch Trubisky had surgery on the non-throwing shoulder he injured in the Minnesota game in Chicago. Can we say a big reason for Mitch's wild throws is because he was playing with a "bum" shoulder? -- Submitted by Tony G.
Tony, my best guess is no, that wasn't the problem.
I think Mitch played better after a couple weeks back from the injury. Clearly, he was playing with an injury and probably experiencing some real discomfort. I wouldn't minimize that in any way. After injuring his right shoulder in 2018, he also missed just two games and came back fine.
Trubisky's problems in 2019 did relate to inaccuracy and bad timing on throws at various points, but his bigger issue was an inability to see the field and read coverages and defenses, and that had nothing to do with his shoulder.
• The 2019 season was such a huge disappointment. So was 2018 a fluke? What should fans expect from this team in 2020? -- Anonymous
No, 2018 was not a fluke. The defense was as good as any we've seen this century, and it continues to possess all-pro talent at every level. With a few sharp decisions in free agency this off-season and Chuck Pagano in his second season -- remember, 2018 was Vic Fangio's fourth season building and coaching that group -- there is a good chance the 2020 season could be just as good as '18 on that side of the ball.
There was a bit of "puck luck" getting 27 interceptions and 36 takeaways in 2018 that we knew wouldn't be repeated in '19, and losing Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith all to injuries certainly didn't help.
The Bears were one of the healthiest teams in 2018, and they played the easiest schedule. Last season was the opposite.
On offense, clearly trading away a Pro Bowl running back with no answers as to who would replace him was a mistake, and the injury-plagued campaign of Trey Burton exposed the poor evaluations on Adam Shaheen, which were covered up a bit in '18 when Burton was productive.
David Montgomery looks like he can be the next Jordan Howard, but the Bears badly need a true No. 2 running back -- who could be Cordarrelle Patterson, if they're willing to commit -- and upgrades at left tackle and the "Y" tight end.
That is not too much to get done in the off-season and if Mitch Trubisky just plays to his 2018 form, the Bears can contend in 2020.
• Is the coach who will lead the Bears to a Super Bowl victory currently on the team? -- Submitted by Dan Hawker
It's a fascinating question but obviously one I would need to have at least some powers of extrasensory perception to answer.
Matt Nagy remains a two-year head coach with one Coach of the Year award, though it is hard to ignore some of the disappointing things he did in 2019.
Nagy continues to be well regarded by league executives -- bringing the team back from 3-5 by winning four of their next five to get back in the playoff hunt impressed a lot of objective non-Bears fans -- but it is fair to wonder whether he has enough respect for the run game or the ability to design and use it well enough to balance his offense at a "winning" level.
I've seen enough overall to still believe he gets the problem and has the smarts to fix it.
I just don't know him well enough yet to know if ego or stubbornness are getting in his way and could keep him from taking the next step. I am impressed enough by the culture he and Ryan Pace have built and how much his players like playing for him to believe that is the big question he has to answer.
• Can the Bears win another Super Bowl under the current ownership? -- Submitted by Chuck Chuckelson
Yes, they can, as long as the family continues to stay completely out of the football side of the operation -- as they have ever since George McCaskey took over for Michael -- and they hire the right football people.
While they aren't there at the moment, with no more than 4-6 of the right additional players and continued development of Matt Nagy as a head coach, they could contend as soon as the next year or two.
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