Bears Called on to Bench QB Justin Fields

Justin Fields

Getty One insider thinks the Bears should temporarily bench quarterback Justin Fields.

Justin Fields has started just 13 games at quarterback for the Chicago Bears, and while he hasn’t gotten off to a great start, he’s also learning his second offense in as many years.

It’s extremely rare for young QBs to have immediate success in the NFL, particularly when they work with different offensive coordinators, and that has been the case for Fields, who worked with former OC Bill Lazor last year before Lazor was fired and replaced with current OC Luke Getsy.

The Bears also fired former head coach Matt Nagy after the 2021 season, and many thought Nagy was a primary reason for Fields’ struggles last year, but the young QB looks more disjointed than ever in Year 2.

One insider covering the team thinks Fields should be benched, albeit only temporarily, because the game is currently moving too fast for the second-year signal-caller.

Fields Is Clearly Struggling

Through three games, Fields has thrown for under 300 yards (297), he has a completion percentage just above 50% (51.1%) and has thrown for two touchdowns while tossing four interceptions (stats via Pro Football Reference). Fields also has 95 yards rushing and a score on the ground, but he has missed open receivers every week, and he has yet to make a “big-time” throw in 2022:

Per Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic, the 23-year-old quarterback’s 27.7 rating in the Bears’ Week 3 win over the Houston Texans was “the 13th-worst passer rating in the NFL (minimum 17 passes thrown) since 2017.” Instead of improving with each game, it’s almost as if Fields has gotten worse. It’s far too early to jump to any conclusions, but if Fields doesn’t show marked improvement soon, there will be cause for concern in the Windy City.

Bears Should Follow 1974 Steelers Model, Insider Says

Insider Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog suggested that a temporary stint on the bench might be good for Fields, referencing legendary former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll’s decision to bench his Hall of Fame quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, back in 1974.

Bradshaw and Noll won four Super Bowls together, but it didn’t happen right away. In Bradshaw’s fifth season, Noll chose quarterback Joe Gilliam to be the starter. Hughes thinks Bears’ head coach Matt Eberflus should emulate what Noll did.

“Noll benched Bradshaw when he thought the game was moving too quickly for his young QB. It caused a minor media melee but it wasn’t permanent,” Hughes tweeted on September 25. “Flus should consider same for Fields. He needs to reboot the system.”

Hughes thinks a few weeks watching veteran backup Trevor Siemian take the reins might be good for Fields. “Shouldn’t be for the year,” Hughes added in a separate tweet, noting two or three weeks on the bench might suffice.

While it’s entirely possible sitting for a while might help the young quarterback, it’s also possible — and much more likely — benching Fields would completely alienate him and sap whatever is left of his confidence.

Per Steelers Depot, Bradshaw recently confirmed that after he was benched by Noll, he asked to be traded. Noll refused to trade him, of course, but this is a different situation — and a different time. The Bears need to see what they have in Fields. Benching him early on in his second season won’t help them determine whether or not he’s the guy. Instead, it would likely stir up a ton of unnecessary drama and media attention that could easily be avoided by simply letting the young QB play.

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2 months ago

“This is a different situation — and a different time.”
Sure is. Pampered millionaire athletes can’t it.
Siemian, seemed better prepared during the pre-eason and may in fact be a long term answer for the Bears. Poles owes Fields nothing. Maybe Pace will convince his boss to bring Fields down to Atlanta with the other Bear rejects he so cherished.

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