If the Chicago Bears regime of Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus can’t figure out a way to build around Justin Fields, they probably aren’t cut out for the job. This assumes that Fields continues to make improvements, but the second-year quarterback showed on Monday Night Football he has a rare skill, the ability to make defenses wrong, even when they are 100% right.
The Patriots knew what the Bears were going to do offensively, but it didn’t matter because Fields made it not matter. When they had him bottled up, he muscled his way over the goal line. When they were all over a bubble screen, he managed a pump fake before changing his arm and body angle to deliver a throw through a tight window, while being smacked on what was the game’s defining play.
Defining Fields by his passing statistics is a foolish endeavor. How does one account for the third-and-14 play when he finds a tiny hole in the defense and runs for a first down? Sometimes merely being freakishly quick at 230 pounds matters and is not perceptible in the box score.
Fields has a lot to clean up. As freakish as his physical skills are, his small hands are a real problem. He doesn’t always read the defense quickly and he holds onto the football too long. But every quarterback has flaws; a good coach has to find the way to work around them. Luke Getsy was masterful on Monday.
The Bears need to help him out because what Fields has shown us is that he is capable of willing a team to victory on any given week — just not every single week. And while he may not fit the offense the Bears want to run and may not be the quarterback the GM dreamed of; he is a player that need to make work.
Herbert So Good
Khalil Herbert has his flaws in the passing game, but his ability as a runner is too good to be kept off the field. There are valid reasons for David Montgomery to get a lot of snaps. The Bears need to find a way to use both players, as both are among their five best playmakers. Herbert is just more explosive than Montgomery and this is an offense that is going to rely on getting yardage in chunks.
Flus had a great quote about that after Monday’s game when he said: “We’re learning players better, on both sides of the ball, and learning their strengths and playing to their strengths.”
One could argue that more of that should’ve been done in the offseason, but it’s better late than never. It is as encouraging a comment as that could be about this coaching staff. This staff knows their personnel and adjust brilliantly in-game.