Bears Position Preview: Quarterback

The Bears have positioned Mitchell Trubisky for another jump in his third season.

Chris Emma
July 10, 2019 - 10:59 am

(670 The Score) Since making the bold move to trade up one slot to draft Mitchell Trubisky in April 2017, the Bears have seen growth and promise in their deep investment at quarterback.

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Trubisky now has two seasons under his belt and a year working under the direction of coach Matt Nagy, establishing himself in a Bears system built around his strengths and developing a rapport with his receivers. Where do they all go from here?

Year 3 for Trubisky could ultimately reveal whether the Bears have a good quarterback or something more.

Projected depth chart

1.) Mitchell Trubisky, 24

Drafted No. 2 overall in 2017, Trubisky is the clear-cut starter -- a position he has held since the fifth game of his rookie season.

2.) Chase Daniel, 32

The Bears value Daniel's presence in their quarterback room, not only as a steady and workmanlike veteran but also as an extension of the coaching staff for Trubisky and the offense to learn from. He started two games in 2018 when Trubisky was injured, and the Bears went 1-1.

3.) Tyler Bray, 27

Like Daniel, Bray offers value as another sounding board for Trubisky and the coaches. He was active for two games in 2018.

Position coach: Dave Ragone

The lone offensive coach to remain from John Fox's staff, Ragone has been a key figure in the growth of Trubisky. Ragone, 39, could be a candidate to take a career jump after this season given the widespread respect that he holds in the industry.

How the Bears got here

After Nagy was hired in January 2018 in large part because of his vision for Trubisky, the Bears built their quarterback room carefully with the hope of benefiting Trubisky at every turn.

Mark Helfrich was brought in as the offensive coordinator, and he and Nagy exchanged ideas in creating the system for Trubisky. Daniel and Bray entered the fold as reserves and supporters of Trubisky off the field. Playmakers were added for the offense. From there, it was up to Trubisky.

In 14 regular-season games, he completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Bears went 12-4 and from worst to first in the NFC North before losing their wild-card round game to the Eagles, 16-15. 

Trubisky certainly understood the task in his second NFL season, working long hours after practices to ensure his readiness for each game and set up growth in the long term. At the end of the season, Trubisky received a Pro Bowl nod as a reserve.

Key storyline: Can Trubisky become a top-tier quarterback?

A team doesn't trade up to the second pick and draft a quarterback with the hopes he can be good. The Bears have done all they could to set Trubisky up for success, believing they can help him become an elite quarterback. How would that be defined in 2019?

For all the various statistics, Trubisky's potential rise could be defined by if he's the reason why the Bears are winning games. Is he lifting the offense in 2019 toward the level of the top-ranked scoring defense of 2018?

Trubisky grew up watching and appreciating the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. They represent the rising tides to lift all boats, with championships to their credit.

First, Trubisky must continue his development in the "202" level of the offense, as Nagy put it. With that comes not just mastering the system but also anticipating what a defense is presenting and beating it. With success in that step, the Bears could see their offense elevate to a top-10 unit.

It's up to Trubisky to prove his place as one of the game's best quarterbacks.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.