Maybe we should place some blame on general manager Ryan Poles.
The offensive line being talent deficient can be placed at Poles’ feet. Teven Jenkins went down in training camp with an injury, and it caused chaos in that group.
In addition, Poles talks all the time about wanting competition in training camp all the while not bringing in competition for second-year left tackle Braxton Jones. Jones is a fifth-round pick out of Southern Utah and has never really been pushed for the starting job.
He has struggled with a simple bull rush coming off the edge.
Then again, when you watch the tape, the offensive line did give Fields some time to throw the ball. He just did not get the ball out.
Also, Poles did sign Nate Davis and drafted Darnell Wright. He at least attempted to upgrade the talent on the offensive line. Davis did not have a great day at the office, but he missed a lot of camp with an injury (or it could be he just did not want to practice). If he can get back into game shape, he is a good right guard.
Wright had some rookie moments, but he also had some good blocks. The interior of the line was rough and a part of that was center Lucas Patrick who Poles signed last offseason. He has been bad or injured ever since he put on a Chicago Bears uniform.
Poles is supposed to be a strong offensive line talent evaluator considering he played it in college. The line has been awful since he took over as general manager.
Last year he assembled quite possibly the worst wide receiver group ever assembled. He did upgrade the talent when he acquired D.J. Moore and drafted Tyler Scott. It is not like Poles is avoiding trying to solve the problem.
Plus, the offensive line and the wide receivers were bad in Fields’ rookie season with Nagy and former general manager Ryan Pace in charge.
It is time to blame Justin Fields for his struggles.
He has won just five games in the NFL. You can point to the talent around him, but he has completed 57.6% of his passes for 1125 yards with seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in the fourth quarter.
Fields has six interceptions to three touchdown passes when trailing with four minutes left to go in the game. He has completed 56% of his passes during that period. Justin has two touchdowns, a 60.3% completion percentage, and four interceptions when trailing with two minutes left to go.
His poor passing numbers are no wonder why some people are already out on Fields. Missing a lot of open receivers only supports that Justin is not seeing the field correctly.
Maybe blame does not need to be dished out this time. His rookie year was disjointed with Nagy’s failed plan to develop him. He had to learn another offense last year. It could just be him working his way through the learning curve in the NFL.
Playing well at Tampa is one way to start turning things around and start silencing the doubters.