One of the most frustrating things about charting a developing quarterback is when you come across their missed opportunities. And when you follow a team that churns and burns through quarterbacks like it’s nobody’s business (… like the Bears), there are a plenty of missed opportunities that come across your desk.
Few will be as obvious as this:
Perhaps Fields was caught off guard. Or maybe he didn’t see it. Equanimeous St. Brown pointing out this was the first time it was put into motion in a game feels noteworthy. Even still … whatever the case is, it is a huge opportunity gone by the wayside. And in a game where there weren’t many chances to be had, it takes on a larger chunk of importance.
In re-watching this play — and given the newfound context from St. Brown, Adam Jahns, and Robert Schmitz — I find myself wanting to further drive home the point that the Bears need to find Fields more passing reps moving forward. Fields can’t grow if they won’t let him throw. Full stop.
I hate sounding like a broken record, but you feel it, too, right? St. Brown makes it clear this is the first time that this has come up — at the very least in a game. But here’s the thing: It probably won’t be the last. So, why not learn from it now, then apply what you learned later? We’re only two games into this season. There is room for growth and improvement in so many facets. Particularly on an offense that is flawed for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, there are ample practices and games to iron out these kinks. Work it out in practice and on game day. These players need to be working things out so that they are ready when these opportunities present themselves.
Or, to be more specific, Fields needs to work on these things so *HE* is ready when the time comes.
Again, it boils down to finding space to let Fields grow by throwing while operating in a game-plan where running the ball with a backfield duo that is tough to bring down is the team’s best option. The Bears are very clearly walking a tightrope here. And I hate how I think about how these types of things were going to be in play when a team hires a defensive-leaning head coach and a first-time play-caller working with a developing second-year quarterback. I’ll be curious what Fields has to say when he addresses the media on Wednesday. Perhaps given some time to rest, relax, and clear his mind, he’ll be able to walk us through what he saw (or didn’t see) and how he can be better in the future. After all, it’s not about how you fail — it’s about how you correct your mistakes.