After going the entire offseason without giving rookie quarterback Justin Fields the majority of first-team reps, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy had his hand forced this week. And he had some interesting comments on what he’s seen from Fields so far.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Nagy said that his staff is learning new things about Fields and his abilities. He said that a lot of things he’s seeing are for the first time because Fields rarely received those reps.
“We’re learning, too,” Nagy said. “This week, with him getting all the reps in practice, there’s things that we’re seeing that maybe we didn’t see in the first two weeks because he wasn’t getting those one reps.”
Glossing over the fact that the Bears chose not to give their prized rookie enough first-team reps, people are finding Nagy’s comments wild. Many are saying that this is further evidence that Fields should have at least competed for the starting job, if not received it from Day 1.
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) September 24, 2021
Matt Nagy: "There's things we're seeing that maybe we didn't see in the first two weeks because [Justin Fields] wasn't getting more reps."
He does know he could've just given Fields more starting reps to begin with, right? #Bears
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) September 24, 2021
Don’t need to watch but loosely translated Matt Nagy says “Justin Fields is better than Andy Dalton, not sure how we missed it with everyone telling us that daily, but hand up, that’s on us.” pic.twitter.com/BwMZ2giBUF
— Bootleg Fantasy Football (@BootlegFantasy) September 24, 2021
Justin Fields had only limited reps in relief duty for an injured Andy Dalton in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He completed 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards and an interception, and led the Bears to three points on offense as they won 20-17.
But with Dalton quickly ruled out for Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns, Nagy had to put Fields in sooner than he planned.
Fields isn’t necessarily expected to light the Browns up, but he should be adequately prepared for the challenge. Based on Matt Nagy’s comments, it might be his own fault if Fields isn’t ready though.
Will Justin Fields win his first NFL start this weekend?