All eyes were on quarterback Mitch Trubisky Thursday night at Soldier Field. Bears fans packed the stadium to watch Trubisky’s first career start in a Bears uniform—albeit in a meaningless week 4 preseason game against the AFC’s Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns.
Two series and 8 straight handoffs later, the boo birds were reigning down at head coach John Fox. Bears fans wanted to unleash the Mitch, but to their frustration Fox had other plans. The man under center would go on to hand the ball off 9 consecutive times before attempting a pass. And you know what, I’m fine with that. Trubisky needs to learn the process of being an starting QB in the NFL. Part of that process is getting live-action snaps and being in command of the huddle, not just throwing the ball downfield.
After 15 plays and 5 pass attempts, the 4th string quarterback Connor Shaw relieved Mitch to play against future FedEx drivers. Mitch got in some reps and left the game. No harm, no foul.
But what I can’t get behind is the bizarre, reckless use of Mitch in the closing minutes of 4th quarter to relieve twice-injured Shaw. In a 25-0 snoozefest on the lake, Fox decided it was time for some risky business and attempt a touchdown drive in the final seconds. The game ended with Mitch dropping back to pass and finding himself under a pile of Dogs. Thankfully, he got up unscathed.
John Fox defended his decision after the game. “Football is a rough game”, “It won’t be the last [time he’s his]” etc. But in a game where you decided to test out his hand-off abilities above all else, it’s inexcusable to expose the future starter to unnecessary risks against players looking to secure a job. I agree with Fox, every time you step on the football field you risk an injury. That’s why Trubisky shouldn’t have been put at risk.
At least the NFL preseason is over, and we’ll finally see some meaningful games next week. For his part, Mitchell Trubisky finished the preseason with 364 passing yards, 3 TDs with no interceptions and a 106.2 QB rating. Not bad.
Now don’t get him hurt in stupid scenarios, John Fox.