Mike Martz has had some … less-than-charitable things to say about Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears this season.
Martz, a former Bears offensive coordinator who is now settling into an analyst role, weighed in on the Bears, Fields’ future, the state of the offense, and more back in August. And it was not at all flattering. In early September, Martz was popping off again — even after Fields and the Bears won their Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Although, in fairness to Martz, he offered up a mea culpa after claiming to be misquoted due to poor editing.
Now, Martz is all on board the Fields bandwagon. Seriously. You can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Last year and the beginning of this season, Chicago quarterback Justin Fields looked uncomfortable and inadequate as an NFL quarterback in a traditional sense. Nobody was more critical of him than I was. His struggles were painful to watch. Additionally, the talent around him is mediocre at best. Then came Week 7. With that came a change in the offense. … He’s gone from a subpar quarterback to one of the most exciting players in the National Football League. Also, his performance has caused teammates to elevate their game simply because Matt Eberflus chose to coach to his player’s strength.”
Opinions and evaluations can evolve. Moreover, when something — new tape, data, information, etc. — presents itself that causes you to change your opinion or evaluation, there should be no shame in switching it up. Just because you said something once doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever. And I think the fresh game tape and new-look Bears offense ultimately nudged Martz into changing his tune when it came to Fields. Good on him for publicly owning up to it.
Martz is going to take some guff for doing a complete 180 on Fields and the Bears. But rather than pile on, I’ll take my cap off to Martz. It is incredibly difficult to admit you were wrong about a player with your early analysis. But not only did Martz do that, but he also explained in detail what changed with Fields and the Bears to push him toward changing his opinion. In the end, I can appreciate that, even if it’s rare when I see eye-to-eye with Martz.