Olin Kreutz Now Convinced Justin Fields Is Leader The Bears Need

justin fields
Oct 24, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Olin Kreutz played a long time in the NFL. He played on some really bad offenses with some really bad quarterbacks. So he is kind of an expert in determining whether one has what it takes to survive playing in this league. Especially Chicago. Being the quarterback for the Bears is a challenge. Not only because of their ugly history at the position but also how harsh the fans can be.

Safe to say Fields wasn’t going to escape their wrath after what happened on Sunday. The rookie turned the ball over five times including three interceptions and two lost fumbles. A large chunk of those wasn’t entirely his fault, but it was a reminder that he’s having a hard time protecting the football lately. After the 38-3 drubbing at the hands of Tampa Bay, it would’ve been so easy for him to hide in the locker room and try to regroup.

He didn’t.

Not only did he step in front of the media after the game, he was actually the first to do so. Before head coach Matt Nagy. He didn’t even change out of his uniform beforehand. When asked about what happened, he was honest and forthright. He didn’t play well enough. These sorts of struggles are new for him. It would be easy to get down on himself for it, but that isn’t who he is. His plan moving forward is the same. Keep working. Kreutz came away really impressed after hearing that as he said on the NBC Sports Chicago aftershow.

Several Bears fans have already begun to turn on Fields. They feel betrayed, feeling he was supposed to be the answer to their prayers and instead is playing poorly. Such is the reality of a society consumed by instant gratification. Never mind the fact he’s playing behind an offensive line that was operating with its fourth-string right tackle and throwing to receivers who kept falling down or dropping his passes. To say nothing of the offensive system he’s in that has been almost universally panned by experts for years now.

Olin Kreutz knows like everybody Fields needs help

He’s a rookie. Plain and simple. Does he need to play better? Sure. So does everybody else. The rest of the offense making mistakes only makes it harder on a young quarterback. At this point, there really isn’t much he can do except what he said. Keep working. The upcoming schedule doesn’t get any less brutal from an opposing defense perspective.

Already he played the 9th ranked NFL pass defense in Green Bay. These next two weeks he’ll play the 3rd (49ers) and 8th (Steelers) ranked units. Not even the schedule is giving Justin Fields a breather. This is a true baptism of fire for the rookie. One he has no choice but to continue enduring. The big fear for the Bears should be his struggles. It should be whether he can survive, having already been sacked 22 times. Olin Kreutz may love the leadership, but he may love the toughness more.

Fields is tough, but even his body has a limit.

The good news is the second half of the schedule might let up a little bit. Teams like Detroit, Baltimore, New York (Giants), and Seattle are coming up. Their defenses are much more generous this season. Perhaps that will give the kid a chance to at least function better. If nothing else, all of this is serving as great experience for where he must get to in order to both win and better protect himself.

SOURCEKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.