Sunday, May 22, 2022

Ex-GM Predicts A Big Jump From Justin Fields This Season


Chicago Bears fans can discuss the defense, the coaching, and other facets of the franchise going into 2022. Everybody knows where the conversation will always end up. Right back at Justin Fields. Since the offseason began, whether it be social media, local media, or national media, the topic has remained the same. Whether the Bears have done enough to ensure their young quarterback can take a step forward in his development.

Opinions have varied on that subject. It isn’t necessarily because of lacking faith in Fields. Instead, it’s due to criticism of GM Ryan Poles for not doing enough to add help around him. The Bears didn’t spend much money or high draft choices to upgrade the offensive line or wide receivers. Their largest contract offered was to a defensive tackle, and both of their top draft choices were on defensive backs. Already experts are picking the Bears’ offense to finish among the worst in the NFL this season.

Optimism has been hard to come by lately.

One person that doesn’t seem too bothered is Randy Mueller. The three-time GM knows the situation Poles walked into. Resources were scares, and he had to make do with what he had. Focusing on Fields threatened to turn the new GM away from his most important job. That is building a good team. Sure, the quarterback could use more help. However, Mueller explained on Sports Talk Chicago that people are underestimating how much better Fields will be this year.

It is a fair point. Few things help a quarterback more than experience. Fields played in 12 games last year. A substantial taste of how fast and complex the pro level is. There were signs of improvement, even during his rookie year. Now he’s had months to go back over the film from that season, learning where he made mistakes and starting the process of correcting them. This is why quarterbacks often take their biggest leaps in their second years.

Mueller is correct. Justin Fields may not put up Pro Bowl numbers, but he should play far more efficiently and with better confidence. If the coaching around him is any better than last year (and it’s hard not to be), there are reasons to think progress will be made. Then in 2023, the Bears will be in a premium position to get him more help.

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