One thing that shows up repeatedly in the UNC QB’s tape is a gap between recognizing a good thing and acting on it.
Football is described as a game of inches. The hidden partner in this game of inches are the fractions of a second that span the gap between a recognition and execution.
It’s one thing to see what to do. It’s another to see it fast enough to act. And it’s entirely another thing to act on it without hesitation.
Mitch Trubisky’s game is floating in a purgatory among these three statements about football. His play inspires scouts with Mike Mayock’s “check the box” mentality to click the ballpoint pen and mark several good features.
The danger of checking boxes is that the sum of the player may not always equal his parts. When I study Trubisky, I see a player this close to becoming the prospect many describe: The most NFL-ready QB in the 2017 Draft.
Because football is a game of inches, we know that the smallest delays, errors, and miscalculations can spell a world of a difference in outcomes. Just like a small error in math could send a rocket ship thousands of miles off course on a mission to the moon, one false step; one small hesitation; can turn a small gain into a game-breaking play.
The gap between Trubisky’s recognition of a big play opportunity and constructively acting on it is small, but the results often appear as if he’s miles away.
Here are four plays where Trubisky demonstrates this gap in a variety of ways that are physical, conceptual, and technical.
Unless the games I’ve studied are dramatically different from the games I’ve yet to see, which is rare, Trubisky projects best as a quarterback in a short passing game. Even so, he’ll need to develop a big-play element to his game or opponents will sit on routes and have no fear that Trubisky can make them pay. He will need time to develop his craft before he takes the field as a starter.
It’s his difficulty capitalizing on big play opportunities as consistently as he should that could inhibit his immediate development. He will need time to develop his craft before he takes the field as a starter. If he develops the technique and conceptual aptitude for the game to this gap between seeing and acting, Trubisky will help a team on the field.
If he develops the technique and conceptual aptitude for the game to this gap between seeing and acting, Trubisky will help a team on the field. I prefer to see small steps, first.
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