Dick Butkus is a Chicago Bears legend. Everybody knows that. He spent his entire career with the organization and even grew up on the South Side. He has lived and breathed Chicago his whole life. So it’s only natural he’s been a huge supporter of them to this day. That is why it’s frustrating for him to watch this team botch the quarterback position repeatedly. He, like everybody else, is hoping it will be different with Justin Fields.
Last year was not encouraging. Fields took a beating across 12 games, committed 12 fumbles, 10 interceptions, and threw only seven touchdowns. Plenty of experts blame the young quarterback for those mistakes. Butkus didn’t want to hear any of that. He spoke with David Kaplan on Unfiltered. The Hall of Fame linebacker has connections around the league and spoke to one of them about the Fields situation. What he heard back was brutal honesty.
Dick Butkus is echoing what many who watched the Bears felt.
While he had his share of rookie mistakes, the problems went far beyond that. Matt Nagy’s entire offensive structure was flawed. He failed to mold the offense to his young quarterback’s strengths, constantly leaving him in disadvantageous positions. There was no identity in the system. That often forced Fields to rely on his own natural ability to make things happen. He had some fantastic moments, but such an approach comes with consequences—namely physical ones.
Way too many hits. The same problems bedeviled Jay Cutler during his run with the team. The Bears never seemed to get the system figured out, and as they kept trying, the quarterback sustained game after game of wear and tear on his body. Dick Butkus knows that can’t happen again. Fields needs help, both from the supporting cast and the scheme. Otherwise, this league will chew him up and spit him out.
It is hoped Luke Getsy and his offensive staff has things pointed in the right direction. The young coordinator insisted the first goal is building a scheme that works to the quarterback’s strengths. If true, then Fields is already in a better position.