For-ev-er, Mitchell Trubisky will be the quarterback the Chicago Bears drafted before Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
Trubisky knows the reality of the situation and isn't running.
"You just play your game and find a way to win for your team," Trubisky said Wednesday in advance of Sunday's game against Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "The comparisons are out there, and they are never going to stop. Me, Pat and Deshaun [Watson] are kind of all grouped together because we're in the same draft class, drafted in the first round and all that."
The Bears famously traded up one spot to grab Trubisky No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Mahomes meanwhile went No. 10 to Kansas City, and Waston was taken two spots later by Houston. The current order looks comical in hindsight given how the three players' careers have unfolded, with Mahomes winning an MVP and Watson becoming one of the most magical QBs in the NFL on the verge of leading his team to back-to-back playoff berths.
"But there are no do-overs. We are where we are," Trubisky noted. "Our careers are going in different paths, and they will for the rest of time, and they'll be compared against each other. It's just the nature of the beast. But I'm in competition with myself and just trying to be the best version of me and win games for the Chicago Bears, and [the comparison talk] is just something that I can't control.
"It is what it is. But two good guys to be compared to. Hopefully, we just keep getting better and help the league."
After minor strides last season that still came nowhere close to the level of Mahomes or Watson, Trubisky has sunk even further behind his counterparts this season. While he's played better of late, Trubisky still ranks low in most categories -- 20th in TDs (17), 23rd in yards (2,774), 24th in passer rating (84.2, minimum 200 pass attempts), and tied for 14th in INTs (10).
"I would say I'm developing," Trubisky said. "Obviously it doesn't always show in the statistical categories, but I feel like I've learned a lot throughout the season. I've gotten more comfortable in certain areas. I've definitely grown as a leader -- being able to speak up, getting closer with coach and being on the same page, communicating and being more involved in the game plan and the checks throughout the game. Seeing the game a little bit better. I think it's starting to slow down.
"[I've] still got a long way to go, so it's just continuing that hard work and keep trying to get better, and you never know when it's going to happen for you -- if it ever does -- so keep getting better, keep grinding and do your best."
Time is not a snow globe. We don't know how the situation between Trubisky, Mahomes and Watson will truly play out. Perhaps, Trubisky finally turns it around. Currently, however, it looks like a very bad miss for the Bears.
Any time Trubisky faces a team lead by Mahomes or Watson, the comparisons will be pointed out -- and jabs made at the Bears' expense. Right now, it looks nearly as bad as the Green Bay Packers taking Tony Mandarich in 1989 instead of one of the Hall of Famers that followed.
Bears coach Matt Nagy, however, doesn't want his young QB focusing on comparisons with his counterparts, but rather the defense Trubisky will actually be facing on the field.
"I tell Mitch not to worry about that; it's the Bears versus Chiefs," Nagy said. "That's the easiest way. The second you start getting into individual comparisons, whether it's me and coach or it's the quarterbacks, it's their defensive linemen and our defensive linemen, their rush end and ours and all that stuff, that's trouble.
"That's how I handle it. We don't even talk about it. It's important for our guys on our team to worry about the unit. Otherwise, if you start worrying about the individual stuff, I think that it doesn't normally go too well."