The Chicago Bears interviewed several candidates for their GM position back in January. It is reasonable to assume all of them had varying opinions on Justin Fields. Some of them were big fans of his capability as a quarterback. Others weren’t sold on what they saw during his rookie year and likely pitched their plan for the position that involved a change. Rumors insist George McCaskey never made keeping Fields in place a prerequisite for the job. One thing did become clear, though. The opinions on Matt Nagy were far less divided.
Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog reported this week that new GM Ryan Poles was a fan of Fields coming out of Ohio State. The QB wasn’t the only reason he took the Bears job, but it was a primary one. He feels the 23-year-old is capable of great things. It turns out another GM candidate was extremely high on Fields. That is why what happened in 2021 shocked him, and he placed the blame squarely at Nagy’s feet.
“I was talking to [ALSO REDACTED, BUT HE INTERVIEWED FOR BEARS GM JOB] the other day and he might be Fields’ biggest fan. But man, even he can’t get a handle on the 2021 tape. The word he used was ‘nonsensical.’ One of our pro personnel guys recommended we throw out his rookie year and start over with him in September. I think Bears fans would be wise to do the same.”
Matt Nagy was never able to adapt to Fields.
Common sense dictated when the rookie stepped in as the starter after Andy Dalton got injured: to simplify the scheme and call plays according to Fields’ strengths. Nagy didn’t do that. He basically ran the same offense as if Dalton were still playing. Tons of straight drops and five-man protections. It puts a huge demand on the quarterback to read defenses and get the ball out fast. Two things Fields wasn’t proficient at. As a result, he took a severe beating and committed several turnovers.
Even more frustrating was that when Matt Nagy actually tried working to Fields’ strengths more, it had positive results. He just never fully embraced the change. The man couldn’t imagine running a scheme that deviated from what he knew in Kansas City. That is what ended up dooming him in the end. New offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has no intention of falling into the same trap. He stated from the beginning that the new offense would be shaped around what Fields does best.
What exactly that means remains to be seen. One can safely assume there will be more rollouts, bootlegs, and play action. Fields managed to improve last season despite Nagy. Now in a system that will try to help him, it’s exciting to wonder what he can accomplish.