Justin Fields being the franchise QB for the Chicago Bears may not be the long-term answer everyone thinks it is according to a well-sourced report.
Justin Fields has led the Chicago Bears to passing offense rankings of 30th and 32nd in his first two years as the starting QB with the most games started. According to metrics by PFF, he was the least productive QB in the NFL when he had complete protection from the offensive line and at least one wide receiver open.
So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that some of his own teammates have creeping doubts about his ability to be the franchise QB that is the player to finally break the QB curse in Chicago.
Hub said on his podcast today that there are people within the #Bears who don't believe Justin Fields is the guy.
Here's what he said in a 🧵
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) April 26, 2023
The thread goes on to expand on the report about Justin Fields not having the full confidence of his teammates.
“I hesitate because I’m not sure how to say what I’m about to say without causing trouble, and I don’t want to cause trouble, because there is no trouble…I have it from a number of sources, that not everybody on the Bears offense is convinced Justin Fields is the answer. Not that they’re negative about it. Not that they think he’s a bad football player. Not that they don’t like him… By the way he played this year that they’re not sure he can be their franchise quarterback. I have it from a really good source that one of those people could be Cole Kmet, who felt there were times that Fields just wouldn’t or couldn’t give him the ball.”
The report comes from this podcast if you want to give it all full listen.
It’s of note that Hub Arkush has known Cole Kmet since he was a kid because Kmet grew up in Chicago. So Hub having inside knowledge of the feelings Kmet has about Fields wouldn’t be that huge of a shock. Also, the way Hub goes out of his way to protect his source and not rock the boat seems to square with the entire situation unfolding here in Chicago.
It’s hard to imagine the Chicago Bears not supporting Justin Fields with the trades for Chase Claypool and DJ Moore, but on the other hand flipping around four, potentially five starters on the offensive line doesn’t bode well for building blocking chemistry in Fields’ penultimate season at QB.
If the Chicago Bears move Braxton Jones to RT, their starting offensive one will have swapped five players to brand new positions for the 2023 season. A new left tackle, Tevin Jenkins is the reported starting LG, Cody Whitehair at C Nate Davis at RG, and Jones starting a never before played position of RT. While Whitehair and Davis have experience at C and RG respectively, the overall development of blocking chemistry would be hugely disrupted, and will already be disrupted with four new players playing together at new positions for the 2023 NFL season.
Add to it Moore is only 25 years old and would be an ideal player to help bring along a rookie QB next year. Plus the Bears own the Carolina Panthers’ first-round pick next year and they aren’t expected to make a major jump in the standings with a rookie QB starting. With two highly promising QBs slated to be available in the 2024 NFL Draft it’s very possible that the Bears may seem to be building for Justin Fields now, but are also developing a plan to insert one of the two best NFL QB prospects to come out since Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck.
Drake Maye and Caleb Willams may be plug-and-play QBs who fit in nice with an offense that has Bijan Robinson, DJ Moore Chase Claypool, and Darnell Mooney and an offensive line with no rookies starting and a unit that has played together for 17 games. The pressure on Justin Fields in 2023, regardless of reports and rumors coming from the inside.
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