Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Justin Fields’ Setup Mirrors Donovan McNabb Back In 2000


Justin Fields got dealt a tough hand when he arrived in 2021. The Chicago Bears offense was in disarray thanks to bad coaching and injuries. Now, a new regime has overhauled much of the roster. Allen Robinson is gone. Three starters from the offensive line are gone. Experts find it difficult to believe the quarterback’s coming season will be a disaster. It’s not like others have experienced a situation similar to this.

Well, Donovan McNabb did. If people went back and looked into his second year with the Philadelphia Eagles, they wouldn’t exactly see a stacked lineup. His three primary receivers were Charles Johnson, Torrance Smith, and Todd Pinkston. The three of them combined for a single 1,000-yard season in their careers. Running back Duce Staley was lost after five games to injury. The only key difference is McNabb’s offensive line was more stable, headlined by solid tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.

Things didn’t start well for McNabb. He threw just 12 touchdowns with ten interceptions over his first ten games. It didn’t discourage him, though. Despite the difficulty, he battled through and finished strong with 1,394 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions over the remaining six games. He improved regardless of the circumstances.

Justin Fields can do the same.

Nothing will be easy for him this season. It is a new offense with a roster that hasn’t played together before. Still, he is not without help. Darnell Mooney is better than anybody McNabb had 22 years ago. Cole Kmet can be a solid tight end. David Montgomery is as good as Staley was back in those days. The key is the offensive line. Can the Bears at least get it to play average football? Fields is talented enough to make it work it work if they can. He has the mobility to cover up the rest.

It isn’t about playing like a superstar. Those expectations for Justin Fields were never realistic. It has to be about improvement. Even modestly. More touchdowns. Fewer interceptions. A better completion percentage. Look like a professional quarterback should. If Fields can do that, the team will know they have somebody worth building around. Same as McNabb all those years ago.


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Gator Joe
Gator Joe
Jul 25, 2022 6:22 am

You can choose to take a negative outlook or choose the positive. We all know this will be a tough year. It would have been tough even if we had kept all the aging veterans. But, we all know that ship was going nowhere. So a total rebuild was in order. Get rid of the big contracts for aging veterans. Bring in some young guys to compete. Take BPA in the draft b/c you need everything. Bring in coaches to run a system with accountability. That’s what HITS is. And bring in a modern offensive mind. That’s Getsy’s area. Don’t… Read more »

Osceola Felton
Osceola Felton
Jul 24, 2022 7:40 pm

You guys go waaaaaaaaaaaaay overboard in how bad this team is going to be lol …i have make sure to screenshot these…….. #BEARDOWN

Jul 24, 2022 11:10 am

The KEY you say. OK Captain Kool-aid! There is NOT a lone key on this expansion-team-like roster Poles has created. There are many, many keys. The KEYS are: 1. Darnell Mooney is a pretty descent WR-2, who’s being tasked to play a WR-1. I believe he will struggle mightily being THE guy. Without Allen Robinson being on the other side eating up the CB-1 coverage, you’ve got a WR-2 who will struggle mightily. 2. Then after that you’ve got 18 WR-5 and WR-6’s somehow, someway, being shoe-horned in. They’re being asked to attempt the arduous taske of playing WR 2,… Read more »

Jul 24, 2022 9:41 am

I suspect Mr. Lambert gets paid by the article. It can’t be easy to write when there’s nothing actually going on. But the super-homer perspective does get tiresome. As I recall, Mitch Trubisky going into his 2nd season was also going to be a world-beater. I guess rose colored glasses and hope springs eternal.

Jul 24, 2022 5:21 am

Erik, why bother writing such anemic pieces? Oh, and by the way, go write for the Green Bay Packers, they love reading your ‘enthusiastic’ articles for the Bears!

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