Bears GM Gives Justin Fields His Strongest Endorsement Yet

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Getty Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

Ryan Poles, clearer than ever, is showing that he believes quarterback Justin Fields can help turn the Chicago Bears into a “championship-caliber team.”

During an interview with Cynthia Frelund for NFL+, Poles talked about scouting the quarterback prospects in the 2023 class and staying open to the possibility that they would take one with the No. 1 overall pick if they were “absolutely blown away.” In the process, though, he explained that “blown away” would have meant being able to make them into a legitimate contender, because that’s what he believes Fields can do.

“We took the time to evaluate the quarterbacks because, like I said in the press conference [at the NFL Scouting Combine], I wanted to be blown away because I do believe in Justin Fields and I do believe he can take the next step to get this organization to a championship-caliber team,” Poles said in the interview.

Poles has shown that he believes in Fields with his actions at multiple points in the 2023 offseason, but saying that he sees the “championship” potential with him at the helm is certainly the strongest public endorsement the second-year general manager has given his young quarterback. The Bears have also created an environment that should help facilitate a Year 3 jump for him, improving his passing weapons — D.J. Moore, Tyler Scott, Robert Tonyan Jr. — and adding two new offensive line starters.

Now, it’s Fields’ turn to show them that their faith in him was well placed.

Bears Kept Justin Fields Informed About Draft Plan

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GettyJustin Fields has seen the Bears make numerous offensive upgrades in the 2023 offseason.

The Bears’ 2023 draft haul offered some surprises for fans, but one person who was not surprised with how things went down was Fields himself. According to Poles, he looped in Fields about their draft plans ahead of time and said it was critical for him to make his quarterback “part of the process” to continue fostering a good relationship with him.

“I want my quarterback [to be] a part of the process,” Poles told Frelund. “I actually told him what we were going to do. We did exactly that.”

Fields couldn’t have been too disappointed by anything the Bears did in the draft. Their first pick, No. 10 overall, was used to get him a new starting right tackle in Darnell Wright. They also added Scott, a receiver out of Cincinnati, and Roschon Johnson, a running back out of Texas, in the fourth round to add more firepower to the offense. Even the defensive additions were enough to excite a quarterback who has been on the losing side of far too many games — for far too many reasons — over his first two years.

The biggest move for Fields, of course, came before the draft when the Bears flipped the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a collection of premium picks along with star wide receiver D.J. Moore. Now, instead of throwing to one of the worst groups of starting receivers in the league as he did in 2022, Fields will have a true No. 1 in Moore as well as familiar playmakers in Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool.

Could Bears Add Further to Offense Before Camp?

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GettyBears offensive tackle Larry Borom.

The Bears have made quite a few additions to their offense since the 2022 season ended. Aside from their draft-related moves, they also signed new right guard Nate Davis to a three-year contract, secured Robert Tonyan Jr. on a one-year deal to give them another pass-catcher in the tight end room and added D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer to the backfield to help account for David Montgomery’s departure.

Are there any other moves the Bears could still make for their offense, though?

Chicago adding another wide receiver seems unlikely. In addition to their strong starting trio, they also re-signed Dante Pettis and Equanimeous St. Brown — both starters in 2022 — to help fill out the rotation with Velus Jones Jr. and Scott. While it is possible another receiver of interest emerges from post-June 1 cuts, there is enough talent in the room to make for better competition in training camp than last year.

Offensive tackle, however, might be a different story. The Bears now have two young starters at the tackle spots between Wright and second-year left tackle Braxton Jones, but they are lacking veteran experience behind them in the depth spots. Even if they believe in Alex Leatherwood and Larry Borom as backup players, it could be worth it to invest in a true veteran who has played more than three years in the league as a tackle.