UNC in the NFL: The Future of Mitchell Trubisky after John Fox firing

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 31: Mitchell Trubisky
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 31: Mitchell Trubisky /

Mitchell Trubisky will be playing next season for the Chicago Bears under a new head coach. What does that mean for the former Tar Heel quarterback?

On Monday morning the Chicago Bears fired John Fox.

Not big news, I know, as Fox was a combined 14-34 in three seasons with the Bears. No, the big news is in what it means for the team’s quarterback, former Tar Heel and first round pick, Mitchell Trubisky.

Based on previous examples I think there are two ways this could possibly go for Trubisky.

Jimmy Clausen

CHARLOTTE, NC – AUGUST 13: Jimmy Clausen
CHARLOTTE, NC – AUGUST 13: Jimmy Clausen /

Jimmy Clausen was taken with the 16th pick in second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers.

Clausen was expected to backup Matt Moore that season but injuries and poor play forced Clausen into action much earlier than expected. ‘

The Panthers that season went 2-14 and the head coach, who just happened to also be John Fox, was fired.

Clausen, who started 10 games, finished the season completing 52.5 percent of his passes for 1,599 yards, three touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

New head coach Ron Rivera, along with holdover GM Marty Hurney, drafted Cam Newton in 2011 with the first overall pick.

Just for comparison sake, both squads were coached by John Fox. Both squads fired their coach but retained their GM.

Both squads have a veteran quarterback in place who was eventually benched for the rookie.

However, the differences here are far greater. First, Clausen was a second-round pick, Trubisky a first.

Second, Trubisky had a much better season than Clausen did playing with a much less stellar roster (Clausen’s squad produced three pro bowlers, Trubisky’s zero).

Honestly, the only way this scenario is likely to happen is if the Bears hire a defensive minded coach and one of the top three quarterbacks falls to them and they determine that player is light years ahead of Trubisky.

And that’s likely not happening.

So that leaves only the other option:

Jared Goff

SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 17: Quarterback Jared Goff
SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 17: Quarterback Jared Goff /

Goff was the first quarterback taken in the 2016 draft with the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams.

He sat behind quarterback Case Keenum for the first nine games of the season before making his first NFL start.

After being put in as a starter the former Cal quarterback went 0-7 as a starter while completing 54.6 percent of his passes for 1,089 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

That season head coach Jeff Fisher was fired.

The next season the team retained their GM and brought in Sean McVay to fix things. McVay worked miracles as the Rams improved from 4-12 to 11-5 and making the playoffs.

Goff also made a huge leap his sophomore season completing 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The similarities to the Bears are much greater here.

Both teams had the first quarterback drafted who started his rookie season after the veteran ahead of them floundered. Both were drafted by coaches who were on the hot seat and didn’t do enough to keep their jobs the following season.

Additionally, both played on teams with good defenses and on teams that were lacking weapons particularly, in the passing game.

So what does Mitchell Trubisky need for him and the Bears to become the Los Angles Rams?

Well, first they need to hire an offensive coach who has shown to be good with quarterbacks. The two top candidates here are Josh McDaniels and John DeFilippo.

Filippo is the better comparison as he is younger and has been credited for developing Carson Wentz.

Secondly, they need to get some wide receivers. The Bears top receiver this year was Kendall Wright, a sixth-year veteran who led the team with 614 yards. Their leader in touchdowns was a rookie tight end from a Division II school.

They also need the top team in the division to suddenly get old and falter. That one is out of their control, but it is what happened for the Rams with the Seahawks.

Even if the Bears don’t make the playoffs in Trubisky’s second year, the key will be getting the right teacher in there to grow and develop him. If that happens the chances of him having a second year like Jared Goff are pretty good.

Next: Andre Smith declares for NFL Draft

If not, then he may fall into the gaps as another quarterback bust, and nobody, especially Tar Heel and Bears fans want that.