The past several weeks coach John Fox has noted the progress that rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky has made. Monday it was naming the 20-10 loss to Detroit as Trubisky's best game, which Trubisky himself didn't entirely agree with or dispute.
"Yeah, uh, you try and look at the process, not the outcome," Trubisky said. "I got better in some areas, but obviously we've got to take care of the football to give my team the best chance to win. Did some things well, got better in some areas but the turnovers hurt us and that's what really kept us out of the game. So, it's good to see me get better, but we want to have a chance to win every single game."
Give the kid points for straight-up accountability, and he later detailed some of the specifics such as footwork or where he forced a throw.
And cynically, the best-game thing might be a little of Fox sending a message upstairs that he and his staff have done some good work developing the rookie franchise quarterback. That's actually a fair self-appraisal; Fox may be core-conservative to a fault, but he also had to make do for two years with Jay Cutler, plus a sprinkling of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.
Fox is a decidedly extreme longshot to avoid dismissal two weeks from Monday, and the development of Trubisky – four of his last six starts have produced passer ratings of 88 or higher – is perhaps the only significant positive in favor of his staff.
"When you go back and look at the tape, you go through the mechanics, you go through just the decision-making, there was really a lot of good that Mitch did," Fox assessed. "Everybody looks at the box score they see the three picks. But it was probably arguably his best game.
"I think the thing that's impressive about Mitch is you know in a couple of situations where we might not have been lined up right, he corrected it. We had a situation where a guy was lined up wrong; he corrected it. Three, four weeks ago I'm not sure that happens. You know there was a couple of throws where I mean mechanically he's really sound, he's staring down the barrel with somebody right in his face and he drills a completion on third-and-18. So there was really a lot of good. I know the result is not what everybody wants, I understand that but as far as his growth and his maturation I thought probably his best game as far as just him goes."
Some just-wondering odds and ends… .
How concerned should anyone be that the Green Bay Packers were 3-4 (win-pct. .428) with Brett Hundley, while the Bears are 3-7 (.300) behind Mitch Trubisky? Not sure if that says as much about either of the two first-time NFL starters as it does the talent base around each, which was certainly the question after the Bears' loss to the Packers after the off-week… .
Any perceived gap between Bears and Browns is problematic. The Bears have lost three games by three or fewer points; the Browns have lost four. The Bears lost to Green Bay by seven points the last time they met; the Browns lost to the Packers by six and made the Packers go to overtime to beat them. Both losses were to the Hundley Packers and were home games.
‘Splain it to me, Lucy
As far as the catch rule is concerned (and no, I do not understand its application), just wondering:
Why does a receiver have to "survive the ground" as per NFL SVP of Officiating Al Riveron said in justifying the overturn of Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James' TD catch vs. New England, but a quarterback or running back stretching to, say, the pylon not have to hold onto the football until after impact?
James and Dez Bryant, among too many others, had control of the football long enough and securely enough to make a football move, as in stretching to reach the goal line. That should be enough to establish enough "possession" to establish control, which should stop mattering once the player has broken the plane of the goal line, or in Bryant's case vs. the Packers once upon an NFL time. Why can the ground not cause a fumble outside the end zone but be part of an incompletion inside the end zone?
"Umm, I'd be hard-pressed [to explain the catch-rule]," Fox said, fairly avoiding outright criticism that could get him fined. "Every time I turn on the TV or watch plays… we've made it interesting, for sure."
And on the subject of "Huh?" – why is hands-to-the-face an infraction when done by, say, an offensive or defensive lineman, but not when a running back bends a defender's head back with a stiff-arm?