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Jonathan Wood; Nice Analysis of Mitch Trubisky/2018

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Mitch Trubisky, Do We Have a Problem? (No. Not yet.)

5fb7dabcc9ddb6eb415d87bdfbe6736d?s=16&d= Johnathan Wood | June 10th, 2019

https://dabearsblog.com/2019/trubisky-we-have-a-problem

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I’ve been doing a deep dive into Chicago’s offense from a variety of perspectives, and want to wrap that up today with a closer look at Trubisky. I’ve already written about him several times this offseason, talking about:

Today I want to look at how wildly his performance fluctuated with the caliber of defense that he faced. Honestly, this was not the article I set out intending to write. I first did this research with the hypothesis that Trubisky did better in early games – when there was less pressure from a national audience – and struggled in primetime games where more people were paying attention. Just watching those games, it always looked to me like Trubisky was tense, like he was putting too much pressure on himself and thus not performing well. It seemed to me like he was more relaxed in early games that got less attention, which enabled him to just go out and play.

And there might be some truth to that; Trubisky posted a passer rating of 114.4 in early games, 89.9 in late afternoon games, and 63.0 in night games. But two of the four night games (Green Bay and Seattle) came in the first two weeks of the season, when Trubisky was just not comfortable in the offense yet. He was awful in an afternoon game against Arizona the next week too before breaking out in Week 4.

I then noticed that the other two night games – when he also struggled mightily – were against the Rams and Vikings, two of the better defenses the Bears faced all season. In fact, those were statistically his 2 worst games of the year, with 3 of the next 4 bad ones being the 3 weeks before he broke out. And thus a different hypothesis emerged, and I started exploring how well Trubisky performed against good and bad defenses.

 

As you can see in the table below, the difference is night and day. I split defenses up based on the passer rating they allowed.

  • The top 10 pass defenses by this metric were in the 70s or 80s, so I grouped those as good defenses.
  • The bottom 7 were above 100, so they are grouped as bad, and the middle tier in the 90s is grouped as around average.
  • This split up Trubisky’s throws pretty nicely, as every group featured at least 4 games and 125 pass attempts.

You can see Trubisky’s performance in a variety of metrics, with numbers in parentheses indicating how that compares to the average against those defenses.


Trubisky-defense-quality.png?resize=750%


Notice here that Trubisky absolutely demolished bad pass defenses but performed below average across the board against anybody who was average or better. In particular, he threw too few touchdowns and too many interceptions in those games. And it wasn’t like 1 or 2 bad games did him in; of the 9 times Trubisky faced average or better defenses, he finished with a better passer rating than the average the defense allowed only 3 times, with only 1 of them 10+ points above average, and 5 times his passer rating was more than 10 points worse than the defense’s average.

I think a somewhat optimistic yet realistic look at this data is that it highlights two things about Trubisky:

  • His pure physical talent. Look at those numbers against bad defenses. Even after you account for the caliber of the defense, Trubisky was still way better than average in these 5 games. Basically the only game when he didn’t crush the other team was against Green Bay in week 1. This shows what Trubisky is capable of when he can just play and use the gifts he’s been given.
  • How raw Trubisky still is. For as great as that one row is, the other two are equally ugly. This shows what happens when better defenses can take away exactly what Trubisky wanted to do and force him to play a more refined and nuanced game that relies on mental processing and technical refinement. He simply wasn’t there yet last year, which is understandable given his lack of experience in that offense and in general.

These splits are certainly cause for concern, but I don’t think there’s any need for panic – yet. Last year we saw glimpses of how good he can be, but plenty of reminders of how far he has to go. Now in 2019, the glimpses need to start becoming more of the norm. This is year three as an NFL starter and year two in the same offense with the same targets. Trubisky should be mentally far enough along at this point that he can better handle what a decent defense throws at him, which means we need to start seeing him putting up big performances against more than just terrible defenses.

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What I can take away from this is that all of the physical skills needed that go into creating a top shelf NFL passer are there.  IMHO these are the same things Pace saw in him when he decided to draft him and work on building an offense around him.

The mental sharpness or lack thereof is a result of two factors;

1) He was only a one year starter in college playing in a good but not great program.  So he was very raw coming in yet despite that he showed enough ability and intelligence even in Fox's predictable offense not to get eaten alive as a rookie.  The basics were there.

2) In 2018 in my estimation he was still more or less a rookie running a true NFL grade offense for the first time and as we'd hoped he dominated weaker defenses but struggled more with better ones and with top defenses.  Yet he showed progress throughout the year.

Now heading into 2019 it appears that many of his issues with fundamentals and his mechanics have been "fixed" and Nagy, Helfrich, and Ragone are working on his mental traits and cognizance of how a defense is set up to stop him and via the reports we're getting once again he's progressing faster than expected.

If Jonathan Woods can preserve this analysis and do another identical to it a year from now we should all have a very good handle on just what we have in Mitch Trubisky as far as a franchise QB goes.

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He doesn't it make it easy to evaluate, he gives both the haters and homers enough ammunition.

 

Count me in the "he'll be good, I think" camp

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I think up to this point he has been a decent to good player on an expected development curve.  

I think he will be good this year and next because he works hard and has a good cast and good situation.

I think his talent is well above average, but isn't special, so to go next level to great will take a lot of things clicking all at once and a lot of hard work.  He will have to master concepts, keep working hard and learning, avoid injury and keep himself in a good team situation. 

I think a lot of people will be genuinely surprised at how well he plays this year, if he plays well, which I am predicting, but they won't act like they are.  They will conveniently forget and hope others forget that they said he would be bad or below average and a drag on the team in so many words.

If he sucks, I will be happy to say I was wrong, well not happy, but I will say it.  I'm not saying it if he gets hurt or a bunch of key people on team get hurt.

 

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I'm on record that guys that are going to make a big jump in play this year are:

1. MT

2. Roquan Smith

3. Allen Robinson

4. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

5. James Daniels

6. Bilal Nichols

Odds are I'll be wrong on some of them and/or some of them will be hurt, but if I am right its going to mean a lot of Bears success in 2019.

Kyle Long is a wild card.  Not predicting him because he has had so many injuries, but it bodes well that he could come out of gate strong because he is healthiest he has been in ages in off season.

Adam Shaheen is a wild card for similar reasons.  He has problems staying healthy.  But if he can he may surprise some people as well as many have already written him off.  

Of course somebody will also have an off year that we expected to be good.  But lets hope that is easily over come.

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4 hours ago, dll2000 said:

but if I am right its going to mean a lot of Bears success in 2019.

I think that the numerous players who are primed for growth this season is an exciting proposition, and a reason to think SB this year. In addition to your list, I'd add RRH and Miller. And, of course, Shaheen if he's healthy (as you noted).

Overall, the potential for offensive growth is thrilling. If the O-line is healthy this season, they're going to be dominant; coupled with the revamped RBs, the running game should be dynamic. Plus, Mitch's continued development, coupled with AR + Miller being healthy, could lead to an explosive O. 

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I think that this also shows how raw Nagy was as a play-caller too. His adjustments were often late vs good defenses and he either became wildly aggressive or far too conservative rather than finding a happy medium. I expect to see him improve as much as I do Trubisky and I think this season will show a lot up girls from both of them. The arrows for both are pointing up IMO. 

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:47 AM, dll2000 said:

I'm on record that guys that are going to make a big jump in play this year are:

1. MT

2. Roquan Smith

3. Allen Robinson

4. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

5. James Daniels

6. Bilal Nichols

Odds are I'll be wrong on some of them and/or some of them will be hurt, but if I am right its going to mean a lot of Bears success in 2019.

Kyle Long is a wild card.  Not predicting him because he has had so many injuries, but it bodes well that he could come out of gate strong because he is healthiest he has been in ages in off season.

Adam Shaheen is a wild card for similar reasons.  He has problems staying healthy.  But if he can he may surprise some people as well as many have already written him off.  

Of course somebody will also have an off year that we expected to be good.  But lets hope that is easily over come.

pretty strong limb you're going out on thinking that these 2nd and 3rd year players that saw significant reps in their first year or two on the team are going to see a big jump

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1 hour ago, Sugashane said:

I think that this also shows how raw Nagy was as a play-caller too. His adjustments were often late vs good defenses and he either became wildly aggressive or far too conservative rather than finding a happy medium. I expect to see him improve as much as I do Trubisky and I think this season will show a lot up girls from both of them. The arrows for both are pointing up IMO. 

Say what now? ;)

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1 minute ago, Superman(DH23) said:

Say what now? ;)

Wow... Talk to text on a job site, should have known better and checked what it posted . FML.

 

Can I convince anyone I was just testing to see if you guys read my posts??? You win Supe!! lmao

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50 minutes ago, Sugashane said:

Wow... Talk to text on a job site, should have known better and checked what it posted . FML.

 

Can I convince anyone I was just testing to see if you guys read my posts??? You win Supe!! lmao

I mean MT10 is a 24 yo millionaire QB, I'm sure hes doing fine, but Nagy is married w/kids, dont you put that on him.

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1 hour ago, HuskieBear said:

pretty strong limb you're going out on thinking that these 2nd and 3rd year players that saw significant reps in their first year or two on the team are going to see a big jump

Nationally people think MT stinks and at best is slighlty below average. 

Packers fans think HHCD is a bum.

Bears fans are disappointed with A Rob.

Nobody talks about the other guys at all.  Like they dont exist. 

Roquan got a lot of hype after draft, but after hold out nobody talked about him.

Cowboys and Colts rookie Lbs get and got all the hype.

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3 hours ago, Superman(DH23) said:

I mean MT10 is a 24 yo millionaire QB, I'm sure hes doing fine, but Nagy is married w/kids, dont you put that on him.

I mean, Nagy might want a "newer model" and the Mrs latched onto Nagy before it was worth doing a prenup... Maybe it is a win-win?

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OK, let's keep this on topic which is Mitch Trubisky but uh......what kinda girls and how many blondes?  Any wild redheads?  Will they all be hot and single?  Do they live alone?  Are any of them looking for a roommate or a live in relationship?  Be nice if a few of them were strippers and stuff like that.  Girls huh?  Whew, I'm sweating.......hard to concentrate.  What were we talking about before?  icon_rofl.gif

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15 hours ago, Sugashane said:

I mean, Nagy might want a "newer model" and the Mrs latched onto Nagy before it was worth doing a prenup... Maybe it is a win-win?

Yeah that won't be a distraction at all.

Let's not put that evil on him or the Bears.

 

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