Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Williams made an assertion Thursday about the much-maligned Chicago Bears quarterback that’s bound to raise some eyebrows, if not invite outright ridicule.
Mitchell Trubisky was benched late last season, the Bears declined his fifth-year option this year and he had a hard time staving off Nick Foles to win the starting job for Sunday’s opener at Ford Field.
But Williams still called Trubisky a good quarterback.
[ The Free Press has started a digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. ]
“I think at the end of the day Trubisky, he’s a good quarterback,” said Williams, a teammate of Trubisky’s the past two seasons. “He’s a good quarterback. He’s a good, up-and-coming talent. I think he’s up-and-coming, talent-wise. He just has to put all the pieces together.”
More on Lions: They’re asking Adrian Peterson ‘to do a lot’ in prep for Bears
Trubisky, 26, certainly has done that against the Lions. In fact, he’s practically made a career out of beating them. In three seasons, Trubisky has an overall 85.8 passer rating in the NFL. Against the Lions, he has a 106.3 passer rating in five games. Against teams Trubisky has played more than once, he only has a higher passer rating against the San Francisco 49ers in two games.
Trubisky also has thrown 11 of his 48 career touchdowns against the Lions. He hasn’t thrown more than six touchdowns against any other team. He’s beaten the Lions three times, including a sweep last year.
Lions coach Matt Patricia said the Bears have played good complementary football in all three phases against his team, but he also gave Trubisky credit for having “done a great job” in those games.
[ How COVID-19 will change sports as we know them: ‘The virus is shaping the sports world’ ]
“We haven’t had enough pressure or rush in those cases where he’s been able to kind of get the ball off,” Patricia said. “So it’s certainly a little bit of we need to do some things better and certainly take a look at what we’re doing in those particular situations.”
Williams offered a final interesting thought on how Trubisky fits what his coaches are asking him to do. As a mobile quarterback who rushed for 421 yards in 2018, Trubisky won 11 games, made the Pro Bowl and led Chicago to a division title. This past year, Trubisky worked on his mechanics and he has been willing to stay in the pocket more often.
[ Kenny Golladay has a hamstring injury, gets left off Hall of Famer’s top-10 WR list ]
“At the end of the day, people want you to be a certain player when they want you to be it,” said Williams, who had a career-high six sacks for the Bears last season. “I mean, look at me. I just had a breakout year last year in Year 7.
“So at the end of the day, I think it’s just up to the player to really put it in his mind that he believes in himself and knows the type of player that he can be and put it all together and just go out there and play.”