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Trey Burton, Bears

Why Trey Burton will be the main X-Factor for the Bears in 2019

Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton is the type of player that could easily make an impact on any offense and in his first season with in Chicago he definitely earned his money. Throughout the 2018 season, Burton had a career-high in nearly every category with 54 catches on 76 targets to go along with 569 yards and six touchdowns. Burton played a huge role in Matt Nagy’s high-powered offense and it’s fair to assume his role will only grow in the 2019 season.

Aside from Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen, Burton played a major role in making sure quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had another viable target in the passing game. If the Bears want to possess an offense that can perform on a level playing field with their defense, Burton’s role will need to be much larger next season. The Bears are lucky to have one of the few tight ends that can be a big time threat in the passing game, so it’s easy to see why Trey Burton will be the team’s main X-Factor in 2019.

In a Week 7 contest against the New England Patriots, Burton caught nine passes for a career-high 126 yards and added a touchdown grab to his successful day. While the Bears fell a bit short of defeating the would-be Super Bowl champions, Burton proved to be a tremendous factor in Chicago’s success on this particular occasion.

Unfortunately for Burton, the offensive game plan did not always play into his favor as it did against New England. Burton only received 22 targets prior to this matchup and only saw 43 more for the remaining 10 games. With his skill set, it’s frustrating to see such a talented player receive an underwhelming workload. It’s very possible his numbers could be on another level after familiarizing himself with the offense and strengthening his bond with his quarterback.

While it may be hard to understand why Burton was not more of a focal point in the Chicago offense, the persistence of force-feeding Cohen in both the passing and running game was likely to blame in some cases. Nagy took a more conservative approach when it came to Trubisky’s passing ability. However, Chicago’s knack for keeping opposing defenses on their toes was not lacking at any point in the season regarding Trubisky’s versatility.

The tendency for most young quarterbacks of often checking down the field for their tight end is something the Bears’ offense appeared to shy away from last season. Trubisky’s ability to take off and run at any given moment took away some possible chances for the Burton. Aside from scoring the occasional touchdown in 2018 after his career day against New England, defenses clearly took notice of Burton’s ability to be a major threat in the passing game.

After snagging nine passes in Week 7, Burton’s highest reception total would cap off at five for the remainder of the season. Chicago will need to figure out a way to get Burton the ball more often and make things a bit easier on Trubisky, forcing him to run less and not make unnecessary passes down field.