Bears hope trade for receiver benefits offense
By GENE CHAMBERLAIN
Oct. 26, 2017
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The bottom line is winning for the Chicago Bears, so they'll live with rookie Mitchell Trubisky throwing it seven times.
That's how often the No. 2 overall draft choice put it up in Sunday's 17-3 win over Carolina.
Chicago is taking measures to make certain this doesn't become a regular practice: On Wednesday, the Bears dealt a seventh-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Chargers for wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, a move coaches said is still pending a physical.
"I'm not really sure how this whole process works, a guy coming in in the middle of the season, but I'm looking forward to it," Trubisky said. "I've heard he's a good player and I'll just help him any way we can. He's part of this team and family now.
"We're invested in all of our guys and we're going to get him as ready as we can, as well as the other guys."
The Bears (3-4) look for their third straight win Sunday at New Orleans (4-2). Until Inman learns their offense they'll go with wide receivers who were targeted once by Trubisky in the win over Carolina.
Part of the reason the offense has thrown only 48 times since Trubisky became starter three games ago is the lack of proven targets.
"Maybe another veteran presence in the room and a guy that's played in the NFL, played with a good quarterback, that's going to help everyone," offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "That's going to help that (receiver) group."
Inman provides the Bears with something they haven't had since Kevin White went on injured reserve after Week 1 with a broken shoulder blade — a taller receiver versatile enough to get downfield or make short catches over the middle.
Inman is 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and has made 107 catches for 1,463 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons with the Chargers. He was held out of the past two games because of a hamstring injury and has only two catches for 9 yards this season.
Undrafted rookie Tanner Gentry and former Tennessee reserve Tre McBride started at the two wide receiver positions the past two games after Deonte Thompson was waived and Markus Wheaton suffered a groin injury.
Coach John Fox isn't certain how fast a new receiver can pick up the offense. But the Bears have a bye next week and the extra time will help.
"It depends on the guy," Fox said. "Some guys are wired differently. I've not even met the young man yet, so we'll determine that kind of as we go."
Trubisky dropped back to throw 11 times Sunday — he was sacked four times — and Loggains said he took two of them rather than risk a turnover. Trubisky is 24 for 48 for 348 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a passer rating of 79.2.
"We've got to be better on third down," Trubisky said. "We've got to help our defense and keep them off the field.
"That's just me, going through my progressions, getting our playmakers the ball."
Loggains joked that Fox's favorite game to talk about is winning once with two pass completions.
In all seriousness, Trubisky and Loggains said it was difficult for a quarterback and receivers to get in sync in a game that dictated so few pass attempts, but they have to continue working at it in practice.
"We've just got to develop that rhythm, keep the defense off-balance on first and second down and get into manageable third downs so we can become more efficient," Trubisky said. "It's all about rhythm, staying in a groove and really just continuing to evolve and find our identity and what works best for our offense to help out our defense."
With only an average of 16 passes for each of his starts, Bears coaches seem reluctant to push their rookie quarterback's development while they try to win games using the run.
"You've got to win as you grow," Loggains said. "The organization has to win while you grow.
"Sometimes it doesn't unfold the way you want to. The development thing, he's going to develop. He's going to get plenty of snaps and plenty of throws, those things. There is nothing like winning for a young quarterback and that's what we're judged on."