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#pounditWednesday, May 22, 2024

Justin Fields seemingly blames Bears’ coaching staff for his struggles

Justin Fields with a headband on

Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields knows he has not played to his potential through the first two games of the season, and the Chicago Bears quarterback seems to think that is because he is listening to his coaches too much.

Many predicted that Fields would take a huge leap in his third NFL season, but we have seen few — if any — signs of that through Chicago’s first two games. Fields spoke with reporters on Wednesday about his struggles, and he said he feels he has become too “robotic” and is not playing his game. Fields added that his goal is to think less in Week 3 and focus more on instincts than all the “info in my head.”

A reporter then asked Fields what the quarterback believes is causing him to think too much. Fields attributed it to “coaching.” You can hear more of his response below:

Fields was later asked about a specific sack play that went viral from Chicago’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during which the quarterback stood in the pocket for about seven seconds. He went into more detail about why he feels too much coaching has negatively impacted his play.

“They wanted me to work on standing in the pocket during the offseason, which there are times when you do,” he said. “But when that internal clock goes off, that’s when you need to get out and extend the play and make a play. It’s just kind of, like, taking their coaching and then … it’s not gonna work out perfectly every time. Yes, there’s times when I could have stayed in the pocket. But on that play specifically, I was in the pocket for a long time, so I’ve gotta extend the play and do something with it.”

It’s hard to interpret Fields’ comments as anything other than finger-pointing. When his coaches told him to stand in the pocket, they were almost certainly trying to emphasize having a pass-first mentality, which is what you need in the NFL. No coach would tell a quarterback to stand in the pocket for seven seconds even if he can’t find an open receiver.

It doesn’t help Fields’ case that he also missed several wide-open receivers on another brutal sack he took against the Bucs (video here). Fields also threw a terrible pick-six that sealed Chicago’s fate.

Quarterbacks would kill for the amount of time Fields had on some of his dropbacks against Tampa Bay. If he wants to play less “robotic,” he should learn to go through his reads properly and hit the open receiver.

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