Training camp is always a time for unreasonable optimism for all 32 NFL fan bases, but the latest rumors swirling in the Windy City suggest Justin Fields may be the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback before long.
Despite the Bears’ insistence that Andy Dalton will be the Week 1 starter under center, it’s impossible to ignore the glowing review Fields received from ESPN insider and past NFL executive Louis Riddick on Thursday:
Important to note that Riddick is annually floated as a potential general manager candidate. If Fields is, in fact, who Riddick is hyping him up to be, it’s not like he’s going to get Chicago’s GM gig or anything.
Riddick has nothing to gain and plenty to lose by pounding the table this hard for Fields in the unlikely event the former Ohio State star turns out to be a bust. Fields was doubted in the pre-draft process, and was the fourth quarterback drafted this year, behind Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance respectively.
Justin Fields probably can’t do enough to unseat Andy Dalton
Chicago obviously has a plan for bringing Fields along. Complicating that plan is his evident advanced grasp of the offense, and his apparent penchant for exceeding expectations beyond the Bears’ imagination.
That’s not a bad problem to have, especially after GM Ryan Pace whiffed on Mitchell Trubisky.
However, that old saying that “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none” definitely applies to that Bears’ current QB situation. It’s not because Dalton is a complete disaster, or due to the fact that Fields might not be ready to start as a rookie.
No. That aforementioned adage tends to hold truer when the quarterbacks in question have vastly different skill sets. This is the problem with Dalton and Fields. One is a strict pocket passer who can’t make plays off schedule or pose much of a threat to run. The other is a 4.3-second 40-yard dash man who can score in any which way.
It feels like Pace and Chicago head coach Matt Nagy are pretty steadfast about Dalton being the Bears’ QB1. Nevertheless, they can’t afford to sabotage the team if it’s painfully obvious that Fields is ready.
There’s no question who the superior talent is. Fields wins that contest running away — pun intended. If Chicago really wants to challenge Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North, it sounds like the sooner Fields is the starter, the better chance the Bears have at accomplishing that objective.