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Bears consider scaling back offense for Mitchell Trubisky

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Mitchell Trubisky (10) of the Chicago Bears looks to pass the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half on September 17 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI

By The Sports Xchange

Chicago Bears coaches could be worried about short-circuiting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Several poor decisions and breakdowns against pass-rush pressure by Trubisky in Sunday's 16-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals led to the team's problems in the red zone. And coach Matt Nagy admitted Monday at Halas Hall that Trubisky may have limits on how much of the offense he can handle at this point.

"Yeah, I think it's probably getting close," Nagy said about Trubisky's overload point. "It's not fair to him if it gets -- remember what I told you (media) before -- there's that balance of knowing what he can and can't handle. And not just him now too, but we have 10 other guys on this offense that this is their first time learning it.

"So they need to be able to go through these routes and these plays for the first time as well."

The solution?

"When you feel like it's getting close to that breaking point or too much, you've got to pull back," Nagy said. "And so I feel like we've done a pretty good job so far with that. We'll continue to monitor that and see where he's at.

"We'll talk to him, we'll get feedback from him, as well as the other guys, and then try to figure out the 'why' part. Why aren't we where we want to be?:"

It sounds like the "scaled-back" offense approach the Bears tried with John Fox as coach and Dowell Loggains as offensive coordinator, or at least something similar.

The Bears have reached the end zone on only 40 percent of their trips into the red zone, 27th in the league. They have four offensive touchdowns, and two came against Seattle in Week 2.

"We've got to get better in the red zone," Nagy said. "And that's where we need to improve right now. We're moving the ball and getting first downs. We're chewing up the clock and we're getting stopped in the red zone and we're kicking field goals and we need to get touchdowns."

Trubisky didn't handle a blitz well on third down early in Sunday's game and was sacked for a loss that made a missed Cody Parkey field goal attempt more difficult to make. The Bears had three field goals and a dominant 36:21 of possession time.

"Teams are going to blitz, and they are going to continue to test us," Trubisky said. "We just have to have a great blitz plan each week, and it's going to be different throughout the game.

"I think we made good adjustments throughout the game, myself and the O-line just identifying what we want, and they did a great job protecting me and giving me chances in the second half. Just got to get it to our playmakers, and we got better. We've gotten better in some areas, but teams are going to continue to test us in the blitz game. So we just have to keep improving."

Another problem came when the Bears lined up with four wide receivers in a diamond cluster right, and just Robinson on the left. The Cardinals only put three players to the right to defend the pass, and had two on Robinson's side. But Trubisky didn't pick up on this and threw incomplete to Robinson.

Nagy thinks the offense can begin to make strides if Trubisky connects with receivers on downfield pass plays. The Bears had a season-high 39-yard pass to Allen Robinson, but needed bigger gains more often.

"You can see what it does," Nagy said. "The one we hit, Allen down the sideline, you feel it. You get that energy, you get that momentum going. The guys feel it. It stresses a defense when you have that."

Trubisky's accuracy and passing mechanics also came under question, even though he completed 69 percent (24-of-35).

If it doesn't improve, rifts can develop between the offense and the defense. In Bears lore, this happened in the 1960s. The old story had defensive lineman Ed O'Bradovich telling quarterback Bill Wade "hold 'em" when the offense came onto the field after the defense had forced a turnover.

"I've been a part of both sides," Nagy said. ":I've been a part of where the defense is dominant and the offense is struggling.

"And you've got to make sure that you understand that there's 16 games in a season. It's going to balance out, typically."

--OLB Khalil Mack is tied for the NFL lead with four sacks and tops the league with three forced fumbles. "I don't know if I would have expected him to put together a string of three games like this, but it doesn't shock me," coach Matt Nagy said. Mack posted a team-high five tackles and two sacks and also recorded three quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one tackle for loss Sunday against the Cardinals.

--QB Mitchell Trubisky completed 24 of 35 passes for 220 yards with one interception, one lost fumble and a 73.5 passer rating Sunday. He has completed almost 70 percent of his passes this season (72 of 104).

--RB Jordan Howard scored his first touchdown of the season Sunday, a 1-yard run in the third quarter. The rushing touchdown was the 16th of his career.

--PK Cody Parkey missed his first kick of the season against the Cardinals, hitting on 3 of 4 field goals. He is now 7 of 8 for the season.

--CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and rookie WR Anthony Miller (shoulder) are both day-to-day after leaving the game with injuries Sunday.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Bears consider scaling back offense for Mitchell Trubisky
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