Fields Film: Front Office Failures Becoming the Prevailing Theme in Justin Fields Young Career

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Fields Film: Front Office Failures Becoming the Prevailing Theme in Justin Fields Young Career

Chicago Bears

With the TNF game making the schedule weird, I had the weekend to rewatch the game a few times before I put together today’s Fields Film. And I have to tell you, it wasn’t easy. Cringe. That’s the best way I can describe Thursday night’s loss.

Seeing Justin Fields limp and crawl around seemingly every time the broadcast panned back to him after a throw was enough to make me question what the hell Ryan Poles is thinking. I mean, seriously, I want to hear him speak to the media after that. If for no other reason than to see him getting drilled with questions about his competence, which he should have to defend at this point.

Fields was all of us after that one, telling the media that he’s tired of being fed the company line, sounding like a guy who is in desperate need of some change around him.

“Everybody is mad. I mean, nobody is happy about this loss,” Fields said to reporters after the game. “You know, we always get to that ‘we’re almost there, almost there’ … Me personally, I’m tired of being almost there. I’m tired of being just this close. I feel like I’ve been hearing it for so long now. At the end of the day, all you can do is get back to work.”

A couple of thoughts here. First, Fields’ tone here is defeated, and he’s not in a good spot at all right now, and it’s showing up in his media availabilities. Secondly, who is telling him that they’re “almost there?” There’s no way someone of authority can look at this team and tell their quarterback that.

The Bears are not almost there. They’re not even close, and because of that, neither is Justin, and he won’t be until Poles does his part.

I could have clipped every missed play, every dropback that Fields held too long, or every time I think he bailed on a play too quickly. I wouldn’t have been wrong. They were there. We know that Justin holds the ball longer than any other quarterback in the NFL, and some of the league-high 23 sacks he has taken this season are his fault. We know that he’s not making it through his progressions and sometimes leaving points on the field as a result, and we know that he’s relying too much on his feet and taking too many hits downfield. You don’t need me to tell you that at this point in the season.

Still, at this point, I would be remiss not to acknowledge that those reoccurring mistakes weren’t at least partly because of the pressure Fields faces behind the Swiss cheese offensive line (in pass pro) that Poles has assembled. Couple that with the fact that his best receivers wouldn’t be any more than depth pieces on a winning football team, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster—the worst possible scenario for a second-year quarterback that we could have ever dreamed up.

These are the type of seasons you often look back on and tab as the breaking point for a quarterback. This is where guys like Sam Darnold end up telling the media that they’re “seeing ghosts” until they’re traded by the team that drafted them and then replaced by Baker Mayfield the following season.

I keep trying to tell myself that the Bears have all this cap space available this spring, and they will be able to supply Fields with the talent he needs to succeed next season. That might prove to be accurate, but another scenario I can’t get out of my mind after Thursday night’s game is this: What if the Bears break Fields?

Throws like the 40-yard touchdown to Dante Pettis on Thursday night remind us of the reason that Justin Fields threw 67 touchdowns and nine interceptions at Ohio State. Under pressure, from the pocket, Fields uncorked a beauty of a throw, hitting Pettis over the outside shoulder in the endzone where only he could make the catch.

Drives like the one that ended inches from a game-winning touchdown on Thursday, and particularly, the huge run by Fields that put them inside the 10-yard line, reminded us night remind of us the same.

Chicago has been star-deprived under center for decades, and much of the reason for that has fallen on the front offices that have overseen the eventual demise of their quarterbacks. Ryan Poles has a chance to buck that trend. For now, he’s not doing a good job.

Fields is tired of being told they’re right there, and I don’t blame him because we’ve seen this movie more than a few times in Chicago. Hopefully, this version has a different ending. But for now, it’s starting to feel like the same old song and dance at Halas Hall.



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.