Former Stiller Jim Miller is known as the quarterback for both Pittsburgh and Chicago. He knows what a crowded QB room looks like, having been in this position with Neil O’Donnell, Cordell Stewart and Mike Tomchak.
And he knows New Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubesky well, too.
Miller is Sirius-XM Radio host and Bears post-game show analyst for Fox 32 in Chicago. This is where Trubisky began his career before restarting as a backup at Buffalo last year.
“He was good for Mitch. He needed a breath of fresh air. He was kind of vilified as a troublemaker for the Bears and why they didn’t win. But it was more than that,” Miller Tuesday said WDVE.
In fact, the Bears earned a decent amount when Trubisky was the head start. In Trubisky’s 50 games between 2017-20, the Bears were aged 29-21 and made the playoffs twice, losing their first game both times.
But when Miller said “it was more” of Trubisky’s inconsistency and inexperience during his first four seasons in Windy City, what he meant was what was going on with Matt Nagy and the Chicago coaching staff.
The common narrative among Steelers fans, who want to mark Trubesky’s signature as a success before he plays a game in Pittsburgh, is the assumption that Trubesky is a brilliant quarterback who was stunted early in his career by a bad and constantly changing coach. When it comes to communication duties.
The coach who drafted him, John Fox, was fired after Tropsky’s first season. Matt Nagy took over. At various times in Trubisky’s time as a bear, Doyle Loggins, Mark Helfrich, and Bill Lazur all earned the title as offensive coordinators. Nagy even took over the calling duties himself during his tenure.
Miller said constant confusion hampered Trubisky’s development, calling him a “young midfielder who’s been through a lot of growing pains” in those four seasons under what he described as a system that was “very happy” under Nagy.
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“Mitch didn’t really have a lot of support. He’s a winning quarterback…But when you make a change in training, the quarterback usually gets along with him,” Miller said. “Mitch was in a bad position. He was a young quarterback with only 13 starts in college and was growing. It looks bad on him. But it wasn’t all Mitch Trubesky, I can tell you that.”
All of this may be true. But, as Miller pointed out, Trubisky has his own drawbacks.
“In terms of his awareness of going in his pocket, he was getting better in Chicago, but he could get better,” Miller insisted. “His biggest struggle is the long ball. His long ball is a little flat. He can correct that, putting more arc on the ball so that it is more accessible to the receivers.”
One of the positive traits that Trubisky has is good athletic performance and the ability to run. Miller said Trubisky may need to do a better job of selecting his locations as to when he should use them.
“He has some planes,” Miller said. “He can go fast. He’s a good athlete. He’s tough. Sometimes, his toughness gets the best of him. He has to know when to go down, ski, and get out of bounds.”
Miller also described a dynamic that may have been all too familiar to him having been Stewart’s teammate previously. Miller said Trubisky has had a notable push-and-pull struggle within himself, where – for the runner’s dynamic as it may be – Trubisky sometimes refuses to escape from the pocket in an attempt to try and prove his pocket pass game. For the world, he could be worthy of throwing the ball in the NFL as well as running with it.
“He could have used (his) more. He was forcing himself to throw out the jeep,” Miller explained. “The bears were trying to make him a jeep cross. Sometimes, it has to be what it is. Just adapt and adjust and have your backyard playground (player) when you need to pull those toys. Sometimes he would try to play too much out of the pocket.”
So, if you’re hoping to wait until at least the start of the season before the Kordell comps come out, sorry for the disappointment.
Miller also spoke about the support Trubisky will get from the Steelers’ skill center players, the similarities in dealing with negativity in both Chicago and Pittsburgh, and how Trubisky’s locker room behavior should help him once he reaches the south side.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”