3 Reasons Why Justin Fields Did Not Work Out for the Bears

The Chicago Bears are moving on from the quarterback as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal
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3) The Bears failed him

The franchise deserves a majority of the blame. Justin Fields should not have been drafted in the first place. Someone in ownership should have told Pace and former head coach Matt Nagy they were unable to trade up to get Fields. Not when both were on a win-or-else mandate.

When Pace did draft Fields, there was no real development plan. They felt all he had to do was just sit behind Andy Dalton for a season and go from there. Pace and Nagy ignored the fact that Dalton getting hurt was a matter of when and not if. When Andy got injured, it thrust an unprepared Fields into the starting job.

Nagy's terrible playcalling almost got Fields killed in his first NFL start, when he was sacked 9.5 times by the Cleveland Browns. Nagy's stubbornness to not alter his offense never played to Fields' strengths.

The offensive line was a mess during Fields' rookie season. They had to get veteran Jason Peters off of a fishing boat to protect his blindside. Wide receiver Allan Robinson was upset he had to play the 2021 season under the franchise tag. His play reflected how unhappy he was.

Poles was hired after Pace was fired and he decided to get the team out of the salary cap mess Pace left behind. The problem was it meant Poles could not build much of a roster around Fields.

The offensive line was terrible. Outside of Darnell Mooney, Fields was throwing to receivers like Byron Pringle, Dante Pettis, Equanimeous St. Brown, and N'Keal Harry. Tight end Cole Kmet emerged as his only receiving option. Poles did eventually trade for Chase Claypool but that was a disaster.

D.J. Moore's arrival last year finally gave Fields a legitimate receiving threat, but Fields never had a WR2. Fields also never had a good center. Lucas Patrick and Sam Mustipher spent a lot of time getting pushed back. Cody Whitehair was moved back to center to see if he could regain his Pro Bowl form, but he could not even perform the job's basic function--snapping the ball.

The only consistent thing Fields had was a running game. He was a big reason for its success.

The defense the Bears had in 2022 was terrible. That lack of talent helped Fields have a losing record. People point to his record as a knock on him, but it ignores the context that the team around him was bad. His inability to operate in the pocket effectively consistently prevented him from elevating the team to victories.

Fields has his flaws, time ran out, but the inability to put decent talent around Fields is a big reason he failed.

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