By Chris Emma—
(CBS) The bar by which Bears offensive lineman Josh Sitton measures quarterbacks is set high. After all, he spent eight years in Green Bay blocking for one of the game’s greatest in Aaron Rodgers.
Sitton still holds a great deal of respect for Rodgers despite him now being a rival. He spent time at Halas Hall on Monday marveling over the way Rodgers can fit the ball into tight windows and how his gifts have created such success.
So, when a veteran of Sitton’s stature speaks highly of a quarterback like he does Bears rookie Mitchell Trubisky, it carries merit.
“He’s had the ability since he got here,” Sitton said of Trubisky. “We all saw that. It just takes a long time to learn offenses in this league, and it takes a long time to learn coverages. I mean, coverages change at the last second. It’s tough. It’s not easy to do as a young guy. He’s got to continue to grow and learn the little nuances of this game. The windows are a little bit tighter, so you have to be a little bit quicker with your reads.
“You saw him this week, get one, two and into his third read really quick in a lot of situations, and getting the ball out on his third read, which you hadn’t seen a ton in the past. So he’s just growing and learning. It’s really hard for a young quarterback.”
The second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, Trubisky has completed 77 of 145 passes for 988 yards and four touchdowns to just two interceptions. He has been picked off on just 1.4 percent of his attempts, which ties him for fifth in the league with Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and Washington’s Kirk Cousins.
The Bears are 2-4 since making Trubisky their starter at quarterback, though that has to do with much more than just quarterback play. Trubisky has given the team a chance in each of his six starts, with those four losses all coming in one-possession games.
During a 27-24 loss to the Lions on Sunday, it was Trubisky tasked with leading his team down the field late for a drive to tie the game. As he gathered the team together, Sitton could recognize the confidence in him.
“Well, he’s a stud,” Sitton said. “I’ve had confidence in him from the beginning, but he’s been growing and growing and you see it each week. Last week, he probably took his first big leap in the passing game with the receivers and what not and then you saw that continue this week, and he’s just growing and growing, and you just see it. You saw the talent right away.
“The nuances of the game, he just keeps learning and learning. He gives you all the confidence in the world as a guy in the locker room, on the field, in the huddle. He has that look in his eye where you’re thinking, ‘All right, he’s going to get the job done.’”