Last year this time, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields wasn’t afforded a realistic chance to unseat veteran quarterback Andy Dalton for the starting job. Then-head coach Matt Nagy refused to open the door for a quarterback competition, and in many ways, it set Fields’ development back.
Now entering his second season in the NFL, and his first as an unquestioned starter, Fields is expected to improve. His rookie year didn’t stuff the stat sheet with eye-popping numbers, and he had plenty of reps on Sundays that weren’t pretty. But he also showcased rare playmaking ability, both as a passer and runner, to generate excitement about the Bears’ future.
It was no secret at the start of the offseason that the Bears had to level up the offense around Fields. No matter how talented he is, he can’t sustain drives, score points, or win games on his own. But without a headline-grabbing transaction in free agency or the NFL Draft, Chicago has come under fire for its apparent lack of commitment to Fields and his development.
And that’s unfair.