By Chris Emma—
(CBS) It’s clear through five NFL starts that rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is one tough customer, but the Bears hoped not to find this out quite so soon.
Trubisky has been sacked 16 times on just 131 passing plays. By comparison, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been sacked 15 times on 314 passing plays. Trubisky has taken some big hits early into his NFL career and keeps bouncing back up.
In a 23-16 loss to the Packers on Sunday, Trubisky was sacked five times. He took the blame for that number after the game.
“It was just me being careful with the ball and holding it,” Trubisky said. “They did a great job confusing us. Some of them were coverage sacks, but I thought our offensive line did a great job up front today. Yeah, just me holding on to the ball. I have to get it out quicker. I have to identify the coverages, and we just need to execute as a whole and get better.”
Part of the reason for Trubisky getting sacked is an offensive line dealing with injuries recently. Both Kyle Long and Cody Whitehair were injured during the loss to the Saints on Oct. 29, leaving a patchwork line for Trubisky. He was sacked twice in that game.
On Sunday, the Bears were without Long at right guard, so they were forced to slide Whitehair into Long’s spot and move Hroniss Grasu into the role of center. Grasu struggled with the bull rush of Packers nose tackle Mike Daniels, who played well off rookie defensive lineman Kenny Clark.
Trubisky’s greatest mistake Sunday was taking a sack on a first-down naked bootleg deep in Bears territory. He ran a rollout to the left. He said that receiver Josh Bellamy was covered on a trap, but rather than throwing it away, he was taken down.
“Yeah, I can’t take sacks on a naked,” Trubisky said. “That’s critical. So I’ve got to throw the ball away and not take a sack.”
Through five starts, Trubisky has drawn praise for being smart with the football. That’s reflected with just two interceptions thus far, both coming in late-game situations in which he needed to make a play.
Trubisky was critical of himself, saying that he needs to be quicker going through reads and making decisions with the football. Coach John Fox saw the positives of Trubisky’s decisions with the football, despite the sack total.
“He’s growing and getting better in all those situations the more he gets exposed to it,” Fox said. “I thought (Sunday) was by far the best game to date as far as passing the ball. Hopefully he’ll watch this, learn from it and get better for it. I have all the confidence in the world he will.”