I am a sucker for any and all Start Justin Fields! content.
So, take it away, Kyle Brandt:
My thoughts on Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears. pic.twitter.com/0OpFVQVPps
— Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) September 14, 2021
Brandt perfectly nails this, and on so many levels, too.
“We need to move on from this you have to take him and wait. And people are still talking about Aaron Rodgers waited — 16 years ago. Tom Brady waited … 21 years ago. Patrick Mahomes waited … I’m starting to think the Chiefs cost themselves a Super Bowl run by benching him.”
It’s not that this particular trio isn’t a fair precedent to cite. But the NFL has changed drastically since the days of Brady and Rodgers waiting their turn. And, of course, Brady was waiting behind an established veteran, Drew Bledsoe, who had Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl appearance under his belt. And let’s not act as if Brady’s move up the depth chart wasn’t necessitated by an injury. As for Rodgers, he was sitting behind a future Hall of Famer, Brett Favre, coming off a 13-3 season. Andy Dalton is neither Bledsoe nor Favre. So analysts, talking heads, and others need to stop making apples-to-apples comparisons while holding an apple in one hand and watermelon in the other.
And then there’s this:
“Don’t forget there’s a whole other species of names in this Justin Fields thing,” Brandt says before rattling off the likes of Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson (who waited a half before getting the call), and Justin Herbert (who played only because a doctor accidentally punctured Tyrod Taylor’s lung just before Week 2 of the 2020 season).
Brandt might be onto something here, as the Bears could be wasting a generational talent for reasons that haven’t been explained clearly by anyone responsible for making such decisions. There is nothing more valuable in football than a stud quarterback on a rookie-scale contract. And if Week 1 is an indication of what is to come for the next 17 days, the Bears are going to flush one of those years down the drain for the sake of a promise to Andy Dalton? (Michael: There is something to be said about making promises to free agents and going back on your word, but obviously the circumstances changed dramatically when Justin Fields remained available late enough in the draft for the Bears to pounce. Surely, that matters, right?)
So, now that we’ve taken a flame-thrower to Nagy’s plan, when will Fields get the nod to start? Ask Jay Glazer, but you might not get an answer you like:
It’s just week 1, don’t panic yet!! Welcome back! It's time for the Week 1 edition of #AskGlazer
Where you ask the question and I answer! @NFLonFOX
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 13, 2021
If you couldn’t listen:
“Here’s what I can tell you: The plan was to him not to be the starter before Week 4. That one I can tell you without a doubt. Bears were really hoping their defense would come up big, they’d be able to play ball-control football, Andy Dalton would be able to manage that team, and Justin Fields could just learn. They wanted to take him along a lot more slowly than throwing him in there Game 1 or Game 2. … Bottom line here, it’s still tough for these rookies just to jump in and try to acclimate to the speed of everything in the NFL. So the Bears’ wish is that Justin Fields does not start before Week 4.“
Meanwhile, retired NFL linebacker doesn’t want to wait that long:
"They drafted Justin Fields to be the man. Whether it's right now or whether it's down the road. I think the opportunity for him to get that shot is right now."
@ThomasDavisSDTM thinks Week 2 is the time for the #Bears to go with Justin Fields. pic.twitter.com/h7iifd2y0Q
— GMFB (@gmfb) September 14, 2021
If It was Davis making the call, then we’d be looking at Fields making his starting debut against a Bengals defense that saw Kirk Cousins complete 73.5 percent of his passes, throw for 351 yards and two touchdowns, while posting a 106.8 passer rating. Instead, I guess the Bears are hoping Dalton can right the ship after last week’s efforts. Sigh.
“The plan is to guard the big picture and to not break this quarterback before they believe he's ready. … What about the guys that had the chance to sit on the bench? Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady.”@AdamSchefter with some perspective on the Bears' QB situation. pic.twitter.com/kbTbb207ya
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 13, 2021
I’m pretty sure not wanting to break in this quarterback because of this current situation is an indictment on the general manager and head coach as a braintrust. Nevertheless, there is a silver lining here. Because by putting together a Justin Fields Package, Nagy has already thrown out the Patrick Mahomes Plan™. So, now that we’ve gotten all this squared, I can’t imagine keeping Dalton on a long leash if this rate continues. And certainly not if pressure comes nationally to a group whose job security is unknown at this time.
I don’t know how much more Fields we’ll see this week, but we haven’t seen the last of him:
Reporter asked Matt Nagy if he might use Justin Fields a little bit more next week: "I don't know. We'll see. I think he did a good job while he was in there." (Nagy with a wry smile on his face as he answered this)
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) September 13, 2021