By most reports, head coach Matt Nagy was the biggest advocate for the Chicago Bears to draft Justin Fields. He felt the young quarterback had the traits necessary to become a franchise guy. That would make for some incredible irony if recent reports are to be believed. Not only has Fields struggled in Nagy’s “offense” all season, but it now appears the two weren’t on the same page almost from the jump.
Kalyn Kahler is one of the top NFL insiders out there. She’s done reports on the Bears in the past that were excellent both for the details and insight. Her sources are always rock solid. So it was fascinating when she appeared on 670 The Score with Bernstein & Rahimi to discuss the team. Keep in mind this was right on the heels of an explosive report that the Bears planned to fire Nagy following the Lions game on Thanksgiving. Kahler decided to add some spicy details to the mix.
It turns out Fields hasn’t been happy with Nagy’s treatment of him.
“A source with the Bears told me, this was early in the season when they decided to go with Andy Dalton as the starter…a source told me then that Fields was pissed in practice about being put on the scout team. Because that wasn’t something he really had to do during camp because he got to take more reps with the 1s and 2s. The source told me he was visibly, like, mad at now being the scout team quarterback.”
At first glance, this might be Fields’ competitiveness shining through. However, Kahler admitted that with hindsight she is starting to think it may have a deeper meaning. An indication that the quarterback wasn’t happy with Nagy and the coaching staff over how they handled him. From not giving him any reps with the first-team offense in training camp to the decision to start Dalton without even holding a competition.
Then they toss him to the wolves in Week 3 after Dalton gets hurt and expect him to be ready. It was one questionable decision after another. Perhaps Fields understood the magnitude of those mistakes even then. Now here he is, the most sacked quarterback of the 2021 season and nursing a rib injury that has knocked him out of the Thanksgiving matchup in Detroit.
Justin Fields has every right to want Matt Nagy gone
There is no way he is going to be able to sustain an NFL career at the rate of punishment he’s taking. This offensive system is bland and nonsensical at times. It doesn’t do nearly enough to protect the quarterback and get him into a rhythm. Even proven veterans like Dalton and Nick Foles struggle in it. The fact that Fields has actually played some good games in spite of that is a testament to his talent and work ethic.
If the Bears want him to be more though? They have to get him away from Nagy. The head coach means well, but he simply isn’t capable of putting this kid in the best position to succeed. Will the firing happen after Thursday? Maybe, maybe not. It feels like a foregone conclusion that the head coach will be gone at some point. Then the search for the man who can truly mold Justin Fields will begin.
Nobody can say for sure who that will be.
Sources told SM the organization is factoring prior experience heavily into their search. That means assistants with prior head coaching experience, currently available former head coaches, and college head coaches as well. With two months left, things can obviously change. Either way, the goal remains fixed. Do everything possible to make Fields a success. Find somebody who can succeed where Nagy failed.