To say Mitch Trubisky has been a disappointment as QB1 during his tenure with the Bears is putting it mildly. Most Bears fans were stunned after GM Ryan Pace traded up a spot in the 2017 draft to select him as the #2 overall pick, ahead of future stalwarts Deshaun Watson (32-3 record as a starter at Clemson and National Championship winner) and Patrick Mahomes (Regular season MVP during his first year as a full time starter and Super Bowl Champion during his second).
After leading the Bears to the playoffs in 2018, with the help of offseason acquisition Khalil Mack and a dominant Bears defense, North Carolina Tar Heel and Ohio native Trubisky took a giant step backward in 2019, with the Bears posting a 8-8 record and failing to reach the playoffs. Even if Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy publicly defended Trubisky after his turbulent season, the writing was on the wall, with fans and the media calling for a change at quarterback, or at the very least, a veteran stopgap quarterback who could not only push Trubisky as his backup, but play well enough to lead a team in win-now mode to the playoffs.
Enter Super Bowl winning quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
After a season marred by injury with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bears traded for Foles, surrendering a 2020 fourth round pick for the journeyman QB. Foles, an 8 year veteran, has been on four teams before the Bears, including two stints with the Eagles (2012-2014, 2017-2018), the Rams (2015), the Chiefs (2016) and Jaguars (2019), compiling a 26-22 record as a starter. His best seasons came in 2013, when he threw for 27 touchdowns and 2 picks for Chip Kelly’s Eagle squad, and a few years later in 2017 when he took over for starter Carson Wentz in December and led the Eagles to an improbable Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, throwing for three scores and catching another in the 41-33 victory.
Foles has experience with some members of the Bears coaching staff, including HC Nagy, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, QB coach John DeFilippo, as well as Offensive line coach Juan Castillo, who have all spent time with him on the Eagles at varying points of his career. DeFilippo also served as his OC on the Jaguars last season, before the two reunited in Chicago.
If for whatever reason Trubisky wins the quarterback competition and earns the right to embark on his third year as the full time starter for the Bears, the team will have a backup who has achieved success at the highest level in the NFL, and should be able to take care of the football and make smart decisions well enough to lead this talented roster back to the postseason.
With that being said, I believe that Trubisky’s time as the Bears starting quarterback should end. Foles gives the team the best chance to win not only now, but for the next few years as well, with the championship window being wide open for this Bears squad. Not only does Foles’ familiarity (and his greatest successes) with the coaching staff give him a leg up on Trubisky, but he also he has proven to be a winner in this league, which should be the bottom line.
Only time will tell if this is the end for Trubisky and Chicago. Or if Foles has enough magic in his right arm to lead the team back to the promised land.