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#pounditMonday, September 20, 2021

Matt Nagy not deterred by two Justin Fields games that led to criticism

Justin Fields

Justin Fields had an outstanding season with Ohio State last year, but it was far from perfect. There were two games in particular that raised concern for many NFL scouts and team officials, but Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy doesn’t seem overly concerned about them.

Fields threw just six interceptions in eight games last season, including the College Football Playoff. Five of those six picks came in home games against Northwestern and Indiana. Fields completed 18-of-30 passes for 300 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions when Ohio State barely snuck by Indiana with a 42-35 win on Nov. 21. Roughly a month later, he completed just 12-of-27 passes for 114 yards, no touchdowns and two picks in a 22-10 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.

During an appearance on “The Ross Tucker Football Podcast” this week, Nagy said he was more concerned with how Fields handled the tough games than the stat lines themselves.

“That’s gonna happen,” Nagy said. “I talked to (Ohio State coach) Ryan Day about this — how does he handle those situations when that goes on? What is he like on the bench in between series? What is he like talking to you coming off the field after a bad play or a sack. How was he after the game when you won but it didn’t go real well offensively. Those are, to me, what’s important.”

It’s worth noting that Northwestern finished the season ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll and Indiana finished No. 12. Both teams had outstanding years, so it’s not as if Fields disappeared in two cupcake games.

Fields is still viewed as a raw prospect by most. That is why he slipped down the draft board, though we know of at least one team other than the Bears that was hoping to land him. The Bears like Fields for his potential, and two lousy games last season doesn’t change that.

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