Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Rookie Film Review: QB Mitch Trubisky

A detailed examination of the collegiate game tape from Chicago Bears first-round quarterback Mitch Trubisky. What exactly do the Bears have in their new franchise QB?

Vs. Georgia Tech 

-0:19 – Power run, lowers shoulder and barrels over defender.
-0:59 – Fade to the end zone, puts the ball to the receiver’s outside shoulder. Pass falls incomplete but defender never had a chance to make a play. Good deep-ball placement.
-1:48 – Fires pass just as receiver creates separation. Hits him in stride, allowing an opportunity for good YAC.
-2:22 – Stands in the pocket as the rush closes in on him. Throws from the near hash to the far sideline and hits receiver out of his break. That is an NFL-level, cross-field throw that not all QBs can make.
-3:26 – Another cross-field, NFL-level throw that hits the receiver in stride coming out of his break. He makes it look easy but this is a very difficult throw, one that can easily turn into a pick six if the ball doesn’t the right placement and zip.
-4:26 – Locks on to his primary receiver, who is covered. He still throws the dangerous pass, which is knocked away.
-7:17 – Outstanding pass on the run. Ball is accurate and comes in hot, just outside of the reach of the defender. Great throw.
-7:47 – Georgia Tech brings six rushers. Trubisky stands and finds his hot route, delivering a strike on the out route to the far side of the field. NFL stuff right there.
-8:55 – Eludes rush. Another nice throw on the run, goes through his progressions and finds the open man over the middle.
-9:26 – Very patient run, tucks it and follows his block, then makes a nice cut to the end zone for the score.

Vs. Stanford

-0:40 – Fakes the pitch and tucks the ball. Great burst and elusiveness. Finishes the run strong, although he’ll need to learn to slide in the pros.
-0:58 – Rush coming, Trubisky stands in and fires a strike to his receiver on the far sideline running  comeback route. Great timing and ball placement under pressure.
-1:06 – Avoids the rush, buys time, breaks a tackle and outraces Solomon Thomas to the far sideline for an 8-yard gain.
-1:22 – Receiver is comes open on the inside break. Trubisky fires a missile and hits him in stride for the TD. Perfect timing with a ball that had flames coming off it.
-1:46 – Feels Thomas coming off the edge and steps up to avoid the rush. Rolls right and fires a pass on the run that hits the receiver in the bread basket. Great awareness, elusiveness and ball placement on the run.
-2:17 – Trubisky does not see the backside defender and fires a pass to receiver on the skinny post. The safety jumps the pass and intercepts the ball, returning to the NC 20-yard line. Field vision was lacking on this throw.
-2:40 – Of all the impressive plays Trubisky put on film, this might be his best. No one is open for the first four seconds and Thomas finally bursts through the double team. Trubisky has to scramble right but he’s cutoff by Thomas. Trubisky then deftly sidesteps the sack attempt, leaving Thomas on his face. With two more defender barreling in on him, Trubisky fires a 40-yard strike to the near sideline, hitting his receiver in stride on the comeback route. Wow.
-3:29 – Stanford uses a cross stunt that creates pressure in Trubisky’s face. He quickly lets fly a pass off his back foot, resulting in a dangerous jump ball that could have been easily intercepted. This throw had a lot of Jay Cutler in it.
-4:03 – He has all day to throw and a receiver finally comes open on an intermediate crossing route, but Trubisky overthrows the pass, which could have resulted a touchdown.
-5:04 – Running back runs a wheel route out of the backfield and up the right sideline. The safety approaches the line of scrimmage as the RB clears to the flat and then breaks hard to the sideline as Trubisky throws the pass. The safety undercuts the throw and returns the interception for a TD. Dumb throw by Trubisky near his own end zone in the fourth quarter with a one-point lead.
-6:05 – Drops a touch pass in between two defenders to his receiver on a skinny post. Excellent throw into a very tight window.
-6:18 – Avoids the rush and scrambles right. Instead of throwing the ball away, he stands there and takes a sack for a loss of 11 yards.
-6:26 – Throws a beautiful deep pass down the right sideline. Pass is located to the outside of the receiver’s shoulder. He jumps and hauls in the back-shoulder pass for a gain of 44 yards. Great touch and ball placement on the deep pass.
-6:34 – Back shoulder pass up the left hash between two defenders. Perfectly thrown pass for a TD, but the receiver drops it.
-6:40 – Beautiful throw over the defender and into the hands of the receiver in stride. It’s an easy TD but the receiver drops it.
-6:49 – Trubisky puts a pass in between three defenders on a double move by the WR down the middle. Perfect throw on 3rd and 10 with less than a minute to play. It’s a TD but the referees inexplicably call him down at the 1-yard line.
-6:58 – Beautiful fade pass to the back right corner. Ball is over the defender and only where the WR can catch it. Hits the receiver in the hands for the easy TD but he drops it.
-7:13 – Pressure comes off the left side immediately. Trubisky rolls right, avoids the sack, spins back the other way and fires a 28-yard strike to the back of the end zone, in between three defenders, to his receiver for the potential game-tying TD. It was the fifth TD Trubisky threw on the final drive. Unreal. 

Vs. Miami

-0:43 – Has all day to throw. His receiver comes free on a corner route near the far sideline. Trubisky lets fly a majestic 45-yard pass that his WR in stride. NFL-level throw.
-0:58 – Pressure comes in his face. He throws a pass off his back foot into the end zone to a WR who is covered like a blanket. The receiver nearly pulls in the TD but it was a poor decision by Trubisky to let that pass fly.
-3:09 – Pressure comes up the middle almost immediately. He tucks the ball and easily sidesteps the defender. He then makes a quick cut and uses his burst to pick up the first down.
-3:55 – Trubisky stands in the pocket and his RB jumps right in front of him, which doesn’t allow him to step into his throw. Using nothing but arm strength, Trubisky fires a pass to the far side of the field with perfect accuracy. His arm strength is top tier.
-4:03 – He scrambles right to avoid the rush. A defender is barreling in on him yet Trubisky uses a stutter step to freeze the defender before he bursts to the edge for a first down. An intelligent, athletic run.
-6:22 – Easy pass to an open receiver on a stop route over the middle. Off target and incomplete. Lack of focus evident on this pass. 

Analysis 

It’s very clear on film that Trubisky has an NFL-caliber arm. He can make every throw on the field, from the 60-yard bomb to the quick out to the far sideline. The zip he puts on the ball also allows him to fit passes into tight windows, which is huge at the next level.

Yet what separates Trubisky from the rest of the pack is the accuracy he combines with his arm strength. His passes not only come in like missiles but they are, more often than not, right on target.

On the run, Trubisky is just as accurate. That, combined with his mobility, makes him a dangerous threat on rollouts and bootlegs.

In the pocket, he shows good awareness, feel and elusiveness. He knows how to move around tight space and often has no trouble making one defender miss.

Trubisky’s mobility is the most underrated aspect of his game. When he tucks the ball away, he runs with the mindset of a running back. He has good acceleration and speed, showing good balance in the open field to make defenders miss. He’ll need to learn to slide more but Trubisky’s ability to avoid defenders and eat up open space with his legs is a huge plus.

Trubisky will miss the occasional open receiver and made some questionable throws in the Stanford contest. Yet the Stanford game is a great example of his resiliency. He overcame his two early turnovers and led UNC on a final drive in which he threw five touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the country.

In that game, Trubisky did well avoiding the constant pressure of DE Solomon Thomas, the third overall pick in this year’s draft whom many believe will be an elite NFL edge rusher. If Trubisky can make Thomas miss, he should have no issue avoiding pass rushers with less athleticism.


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