Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields appeared to be critical of the offensive coaching staff during his September 20 press conference when he indicated coaching was part of the reason he was overthinking things in Week 2’s loss.
“You know, could be coaching, I think,” Fields said Wednesday. “They’re doing their job when they’re giving me what to look at, but at the end of the day, I can’t be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week, and then when the game comes, it’s time to play free at that point. Just thinking less and playing more.”
A few hours later, Fields called a group of reporters over to his locker to clarify his comments, which he said people had taken “out of context” on social media.
“I love you guys and I get that you guys’ jobs are to get clicks, but when you take my quote out of context and when you just say that, if you paint the picture on the inside out, y’all are trying to split us up as a team,” Fields said, via CHGO Bears’ video.
“I’m not blaming anything on the coaches. I’m never going to blame anything on the coaches. I’m never going to blame anything on my teammates. Whatever happens in the game, I will take all the blame. I don’t care. If it’s a dropped pass, it should have been a [better] pass, put it on me. But never will you hear anything come out of my mouth where I blame it on somebody else in this organization, my teammates … I just wanted to clear it up and just know that I need to play better, that’s it. Point blank. That’s what I should have said in the first place, but I was trying to give y’all more details.”
Justin Fields Felt He Was ‘Kind of Robotic’ in Week 2
Fields is certainly entitled to say his comments were taken out of context after the first part of his quote — “The coaching, I think” — circulated without the rest of his words and gave the impression that he was blaming his offensive coaches for his rough play.
Even still, Fields admitted that he does not feel like he has been playing his game over the first two weeks of the season, something that at least partly falls on the coaches.
“I felt like I wasn’t necessarily playing my game,” Fields said Wednesday. “I felt like I was kind of robotic and just not playing like myself, so my goal this week is to just say F it and go out there and play football how I know how to play football. That includes thinking less and just going out there and playing off of instincts rather than so much info in my head, data in my head and just going out there and playing football.”
Luke Getsy Deserves Some Blame for Early Struggles
If the Bears coaches are, in fact, giving Fields an overload of information and data, it would reconcile with what he has put on tape over the first two games of 2023.
Fields has looked slow making his reads and working through his progressions through the Bears’ first two games of the season. He hangs onto the ball too long at times, taking unnecessary sacks instead of getting rid of the ball. His footwork has also been sloppy, almost like he is too focused on doing too many things to play with the right rhythm.
Of course, the Bears have also been playing against some of Fields’ strengths, too.
The Bears have only called four designed runs for Fields over their first two games despite him finishing with the second-most quarterback rushing yards in NFL history (1,143) in 2022. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has also seemed reluctant to call plays that take advantage of Fields’ mobility and roll him outside of the pocket. According to Pro Football Focus, Fields has attempted just seven play-action passes out of his 66 total passing attempts and taken far more snaps out of the shotgun than under center.
No doubt, there are issues that Fields needs to clean up, but coordinator Luke Getsy and the rest of the offensive coaches must also take ownership of their failings.