Mitchell Trubisky's 2020 Goal: Read and React
Mitchell Trubisky was supposed to become a master at reading defenses.
It was the prerequisite coach Matt Nagy set down at the end of the season about his play, so winning the starting quarterback job over Nick Foles would seem to depend on this.
An offseason when Trubisky addressed this situation by throwing to teammates and studying film intensely now has to translate into actually reading defenses in practice.
Studying film isn't quite the same thing as actually improving by being in a game and looking at a defense coming his way, so Trubisky will need to take some very large steps when it all becomes real.
"I think definitely recognizing coverages just from watching so many different defenses this offseason and I think just seeing the mistakes I made last year and just knowing that all of them are easily correctable," Trubisky said Friday, explaining how he has gotten better at reading defenses. "That gives me confidence going into the future.
"So I watched a lot of ball over this past year and over the summer and you see the mistakes. You see really good plays. You see some really bad plays. And you see just some dumb things that just shouldn't happen. But I think everyone just being on the same page and doing their jobs and me making smart decisions, that's where you see a lot of the good plays happen. And so I think all the bad mistakes, they're easily correctable and I think you just talk through those things to be on the same page with your guys."
Trubisky earlier this summer said he had actually watched every snap of every game he played in Nagy's system the last two years.
"Just fixing my mistakes in the film study and doing different visualization and communication things with coach to get us on the same page," Trubisky said at the time.
Reviewing past mistakes only helps understand where the mistakes of the past occurred.
The question facing Trubisky isn't does he understand where he made those mistakes. Instead, it's whether he can actually do something about it?
Until then, reviewing those games makes him nothing more than a film critic.
Nagy and GM Ryan Pace have both said the problem on offense wasn't entirely Trubisky last year. They think many problems occurred including Trubisky, and the confluence of it all was an offense ranked near the bottom of the league in most categories.
Trubisky thinks now if he's reading defenses better, production will come around when everyone on offense is also getting their part done.
"We've got to be more locked into our game plans week-in, week-out, everybody's got to be on the same page and when we get to Sunday it's gotta all be about execution," Trubisky said. "I felt like we lacked details overall on offense, myself included, especially, if we're on top of those this year and we just hold each other accountable to the standard we know we're capable of, then we'll have a lot more success and win more games.
"We definitely have the talent. I think it just comes down to being disciplined, playing smart football and everybody doing their jobs to perfection. Those are two of the main focuses that I came away with looking at last year."
The next step is one the whole offense has to take, but for it to be Trubisky leading the way he'll have to show he can do more than look at film because his job competition already has proven he knows what must be done.