Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s 2019 season can best be described in one word, and it’s a word Bears general manager Ryan Pace used multiple times in his first press conference since the season began in September: regression.
Yet Pace and Bears head coach Matt Nagy seem content to stick with Trubisky going forward. When asked Tuesday if he plans on keeping Trubisky as his starting quarterback moving forward, Pace did not hesitate in his response.
Ryan Pace on Mitchell Trubisky: ‘I Think We’re Still Watching the Guy Grow’
Pace, who has been widely criticized for selecting Trubisky over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL draft, says he fully plans on keeping Trubisky as his starter moving forward. Citing Trubisky’s “growth process” and noting multiple noteworthy “moments” Trubisky showed the team this year, Pace explained that he and Nagy intend to keep working with Trubisky, who is still a work in progress entering his fourth year as a pro. “I still think we’re watching the guy grow,” he said of Trubisky.
When asked if he had plans to pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option, Pace wasn’t so certain, however. “We’re not at that point right now,” Pace said, noting that he was planning on making that decision this coming offseason after he and Nagy had more time to look back and reflect on the Bears disappointing 8-8 season.
Pace on Trubisky: ‘I Don’t Think it’s One Person’s Fault’
Pace stressed patience moving forward with Trubisky, while noting that the Bears had numerous other issues beyond the quarterback position that need to be addressed. “There’s gonna be ups and downs,” Pace said, noting that Trubisky’s maturity on the field is “a growth process.”
Pace was also asked about his backup quarterback situation, as both of the Bears’ current backup quarterbacks, Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray, will see their respective contracts expire next season. Pace seemed open to checking out the free agent quarterback market, saying the team would “look closely” at the quarterbacks available.
Pace mentioned later in the press conference that he was looking to increase competition in the quarterback room, but then quickly added an amendment: “Mitch is our starter.”
Pace also stressed that he thinks there’s merit in sticking with a young quarterback when he is struggling, saying that there could be a big payoff for such patience in the future. He is not wrong — but if Trubisky starts in 2020 and plays like he did this season, Pace, Nagy and Trubisky could all be looking for new jobs this time next year.