Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields was a great player at Ohio State, and he shows signs of having an outstanding NFL career.
As with any rookie, there are so many unknowns.
However, the Bears’ history can provide perspective on what could happen with Fields.
Using that as a barometer, Fields will not be a savior in Chicago.
3. The Bears Franchise Quarterbacks
Are the Chicago Bears the greatest franchise with the worst quarterback lineage in history? What team could challenge that?
— Full Dissident (@hbryant42) September 15, 2014
Putting the terms “Chicago Bears” and “franchise quarterbacks” in the same sentence creates a lot of confusion.
That’s because the Bears don’t really have any storied franchise quarterbacks.
They appear not to know how to develop, keep, and build around them.
Fields is no different than any other rookie quarterback in the sense that he needs a supporting cast to help him achieve success.
He cannot do it alone.
That supporting cast starts with solid coaching.
It is yet to be seen if Matt Nagy can develop a young quarterback.
Whatever your opinion is on Mitch Trubisky, you can probably agree that Nagy did not do much to develop him.
Trubisky had a great 2018 season, led his team to the playoffs, and was named to the Pro Bowl.
His struggles were remedied by Nagy signing Nick Foles in 2020.
2. The Bears Schedule
The Giants with the 8th easiest schedule in 2021 is awesome…
— TheBlueZone (@TheBlueZonee) May 17, 2021
Not everyone buys into the calculation of the strength of schedule.
It is based on the 2020 winning percentage of the opponents, and teams definitely change from year to year.
In the case of the Bears, their schedule is evaluated as third-most difficult in NFL (behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens), and even naysayers would have to say it is challenging.
To begin with, the Bears’ division, the NFC North, is a tough one.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have dominated the division for years.
Facing the Packers at Lambeau once a year adds an element of difficulty like no other.
In 2021, the Bears also face the AFC North.
Three of the four teams in the AFC North, the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns, made the playoffs in 2020, and the remaining team, the Cincinnati Bengals, is building a young talented roster.
Then the Bears somehow managed to get an away game against the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There are other difficult games besides these; away games against the retooled Los Angeles Rams and perennial tough customers, the Seattle Seahawks.
1. The Bears Supporting Players
Fields is good, but rookie quarterbacks in particular, tend to be as good as their weakest offensive lineman.
He needs time to go through his progressions without feeling as though he should start running for his life.
In last year’s horrible platoon quarterback scenario initiated by Nagy, Foles did not have time.
Foles is not as mobile as Fields, but he still took a lot of sacks because he had no other options.
"There was 1 sack out of 5, it was the last one of the game where he could have thrown the ball away" – #Bears HC Matt Nagy on QB Nick Foles.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) November 2, 2020
Counting Fields, the Bears drafted five offensive players (with seven draft picks) in the 2021 NFL Draft including two offensive tackles (Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State and Larry Borom, Missouri) so these players should help Fields.
Justin Fields could be the franchise quarterback the Bears have been waiting generations to find, but the organization and coaching staff need to develop and surround him with the right people to help him be successful.