Former quarterback Dan Orlovsky played 12 seasons in the NFL, spending seven of those with the Detroit Lions.
Orlovsky also played for the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, primarily serving as a backup and/or third-string QB. He started 12 games and played in 26, completing 58.2% of his passes for 3,132 yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions over his career, per Pro Football Reference.
After retiring in 2017, Orlovsky joined ESPN as an analyst and has remained with the network for the last five years. In that time, he has had more than one hot take on Chicago Bears’ second-year quarterback Justin Fields.
His latest comments about the Bears’ 23-year-old signal-caller have raised eyebrows yet again.
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Orlovsky: Fields Has ‘No Shot at All’ in 2022
The Bears have had one of the most low-key offseasons of any NFL team, with new general manager Ryan Poles staying relatively quiet in free agency and adding smaller names like offensive lineman Lucas Patrick and wide receiver Byron Pringle.
Noting how much money other teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets spent on their second-year QBs this offseason, Orlovsky seems to think Chicago’s roster isn’t good enough for Fields to do much of anything.
“Fields has no shot at all,” Orlovsky tweeted on June 22, noting it would be better to judge the young QB in Year 3:
The former Lions quarterback didn’t blame Fields for Chicago’s current perceived lack of playmakers, and he’s not the only analyst to suggest a true assessment of Fields’ talents will come in Year 3. Still, Orlovsky seems to frequently target the Bears’ QB for criticism.
He walked back comments in which he questioned Fields’ work ethic before the 2021 draft, and in a previous tweet on May 5, Orlovsky also made a point to rate Fields far lower than the other quarterbacks he was drafted with, including Trey Lance, Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence:
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Orlovsky Isn’t Alone in Worrying About Fields
Orlovsky isn’t the only analyst to criticize Poles for not doing enough to help Fields.
Mike Tanier blasted the Bears new GM in his May 16 column for Football Outsiders titled: The Reckless Abandonment of Justin Fields.
“There’s no way to put a shine upon this stink nugget of a receiver corps,” Tanier wrote about Chicago’s current WR room. “And there’s no way a tight end corps headlined by Cole Kmet will take any pressure off the receivers or Fields.”
Like Orlovsky, Tanier also compared what other teams around the league did for their second-year QBs to what Chicago has done: “Trevor Lawrence got a bundle of B-list free agents: the food may not be great, but the portion is huge. Zach Wilson got Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, and two veteran tight ends. Fields got a rock in his trick-or-treat bag.”
It’s too Early to Dismiss Fields’ 2022 Campaign
Pro Football Focus ranked Chicago’s WR corps the worst in the league this offseason, also ranking the team’s O-line 31st out of 32 teams, so pointing out the team’s lack of star power on offense has been one of the more common themes of the 2022 offseason.
While the most accurate assessment of Fields will likely come in 2023, a year the Bears will be able to add more talent due to ample salary cap space and better draft picks, it’s still unfair for Orlovsky — or anyone — to judge the 23-year-old quarterback before his sophomore season has even begun.
Several of Fields’ weapons, while unproven, have a good degree of potential, including rookie wideout Velus Jones Jr., second-year running back Khalil Herbert and free agent fullback Khari Blasingame. Fields will also have the full offseason and preseason to work with every member of the offense, unlike last year, when he was relegated to taking snaps with the second team until after the regular season was underway. While Chicago’s roster won’t cue many fire emoji on paper, it could also surprise some people — including Orlovsky.