Blocking out 'negativity' of social media has helped Mitchell Trubisky

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- There is no shortage of opinions about Chicago Bears second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whose play at the midway point of the season has morphed into a polarizing debate.

But Trubisky said he doesn't listen to his critics.

"I’ve been off social media," Trubisky said on Wednesday. "I don’t really check it that often, and I don’t really have it on my phone. So I don’t hear any of the outside noise, whether it be positive or negative. I just have a lot more time, and my focus is elsewhere within football and my family and everything else I’ve got going on. It hasn’t been a distraction for me. Most of it last year had been negative, so it’s just a lot of negativity that I blocked out of my life. I’m able to just focus on what I needed to do and who I want to be as a player and as a person. It has been a good thing for me just getting off that.

"It really doesn’t matter what anybody says on the outside. We’re the ones putting the work in preparing for each game and putting it on the line every Sunday."

Bears coach Matt Nagy said the only opinions that are important to Trubisky are found within the walls of Halas Hall.

"Anytime you are drafted as a quarterback early and high in the draft, you’re always going to be critiqued," Nagy said. "But again, the only thing that he needs to worry about is what I think about him and what people in this building think about him. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion and that’s OK, that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that.

"But as long as he just understands that the only thing that matters is what we think, nothing will affect him."

Trubisky’s supporters point to the numbers.

Over Chicago’s past five games, Trubisky has amassed 1,596 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns. His passer rating in that span is an impressive 108.3. Trubisky also ranks second among NFL quarterbacks with 302 rushing yards, trailing only Carolina’s Cam Newton.

Trubisky had a game for the ages against Tampa Bay in Week 4, passing for a career-high 354 yards and six touchdowns. He has thrown for 1,949 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 302 yards and two scores. As a rookie in 2017, Trubisky finished with only 2,193 yards and seven touchdown passes in 12 starts.

"I just feel like I have more command of the offense and command of the huddle, and just feel like I’m a good leader for this offense," Trubisky said. "So I’m just very confident going out there and leading my guys, know what I have to do.

"There are still areas I have to improve within my game and still growing in that, but I feel comfortable and confident with where I am as a leader with command of this offense, getting in and out of the huddle, seeing things post-snap. I think it’s all starting to slow down, so just trying to improve all areas of my game."

But Trubisky has had accuracy issues and decision-making (seven interceptions) issues in addition to having trouble locating open receivers downfield.

He's completing 64.2 percent of his passes, but he connected on just 52 percent of his throws in a recent loss to the Patriots (26-of-50) and 55.2 percent (16-of-29) in a victory over the Jets.

Chicago’s defense dominated last Sunday in Buffalo, but Trubisky went 12-of-20 for 135 yards with one touchdown (late in the blowout) and one interception.

Trubisky has played extremely well in stretches. His most impressive trait might be that he never checks out of a game. On several occasions, Trubisky has struggled only to recover late and lead the Bears on an important scoring drive.

"The only thing that I can think of in regards to just our offense and not his accuracy, we’ve played some pretty solid defenses here the last few weeks," Nagy said. "I think they’re underrated, especially the last two weeks with the Jets and Buffalo. Then you go back to the Patriots. There are some good schemes and some good players, but that’s good for us, that’s good for him.

"There were a couple balls now and then that got away from him. He’ll be the first to tell you. I’ll be the first to let him know that, but that’s OK. We’ll keep improving. He’s also made some really good throws, too."