For Pete's Sake

Amid criticism, Bears say it’s not fair to compare Mitch Trubisky to Patrick Mahomes

Chiefs WR Chris Conley on Mahomes: ‘You can’t ask him to do anything else’

Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley sings praises of quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday September 16, 2018.
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Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley sings praises of quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday September 16, 2018.

Here’s yet another sign of how well Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has played this season: he’s being talked about at another team’s news conference.

And it’s not a team the Chiefs will face this season.

Granted, it was Bears coach Matt Nagy, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator. He was asked about Mahomes, who was taken 10th overall by the Chiefs, eight spots after Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the 2017 draft.

The Bears’ decision to draft Trubisky instead of Mahomes was the subject of a column by the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Rosenbloom on Monday. Rosenbloom had strong words for Bears general manager Ryan Pace.

“Mahomes, the guy Pace did not have in mind when he traded up in the 2017 draft, threw six TD passes in the Chiefs’ victory in Pittsburgh, where Kansas City hadn’t won in 36 years,” Rosenbloom wrote.

“For those of you scoring at Halas Hall, that’s one fewer TD pass than the guy Pace was fired up to draft in his 13 career NFL games.

“Remember, Mahomes’ franchise-record-tying performance came during a week in which the Trubisky discussion centered on missing an open Trey Burton in the end zone during a massive collapse against the Packers, and now Mahomes has an NFL-record 10 TD passes in the first two weeks of a season in which Trubisky is still looking for one.

“Mahomes averaged more than 11 yards per pass attempt against the Steelers and completed more than 82 percent of his throws, a stunning efficiency that was supposed to be Trubisky’s greatest asset.

“Trubisky will be forever compared to Mahomes, as well as DeShaun Watson. They constitute the top of the 2017 quarterback draft class — Trubisky second, Mahomes 10th and Watson 12th, all three drafted by teams that traded up to make the selection.”

The heat on Trubisky only grew after the Bears’ 24-17 win over Seattle on Monday night. He threw two touchdown passes, but also had two interceptions and was fortunate not to have a third in the end zone.

After that game, Rosenbloom wrote about Trubisky’s mixed performance and again mentioned Mahomes.

“So, on the QB-O-Meter, he’s all over the place, much like his decisions and throws,” Rosenbloom wrote. “The safest way to put it is this: He’s not Mike Glennon, but he’s not Mahomes. Not even close.”

Nagy, who worked with Mahomes last year in Kansas City, was asked about the comparisons being made between Mahomes and Trubisky and whether it was fair.

“Well, what’s fair to compare is you have one in Patrick, who has had a full year in this offense to understand it,” Nagy told reporters on Tuesday. “Now, regardless of playing it, he’s had a full year — more than a year — to sit behind it and learn and understand and watch tape with those quarterbacks last year, and get to see all the talk, all the discussions of where you go to on this play and that play, whereas Mitchell hasn’t had that.

“He’s being forced into this thing right away, and so that’s where these growing pains are going to occur. ... I just want to make it clear to him and to everybody if you’re realistic about it, it does take a little bit of time and in the meantime, as you saw last night, we have a defense that can help us out during this process. And so the sooner we get it and when it starts clicking, then the better, but that’s the difference between the two, and it’s obviously neat to see Patrick doing so well right now.”

Nagy was then asked if there was an urgency with the Bears to match Mahomes’ production.

“I don’t see it that way,” Nagy said. “I think a lot of outsiders will because it’s easy to compare two people because they were drafted in the same draft, top 10, one ahead of the other, and so those comparisons are easy. But what’s real behind that is what I just said.

“You have one guy that has had plenty of time now to learn it, and when I say plenty of time trust me, he’s (Mahomes) learning this thing, too, so he’s just had an extra year to go through it. And so, I don’t think that’s fair to Mitch to be put in that position, and I know Mitch doesn’t put that on himself. We certainly don’t do that. And hopefully in the end both of them have great, long careers in this type of offense.”

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