Hit Or Miss: Why Justin Fields Is Different Than Other Bears Quarterbacks

Chicago Bears faithfuls, like myself, do not quite know when rookie quarterback Justin Fields will take over as the Bears’ “QB1”. However, after an impressive camp and preseason in which Fields showed off his downfield accuracy and elite athleticism, it seems inevitable that Fields will take over for current starter Andy Dalton sooner rather than later. Yet, despite Field’s impressive camp and preseason, there are still nerves among Bears fans surrounding Fields’ ability to be the Bears franchise quarterback – and these nerves are understandable. The question many nervous Bears fans continue to ask is why will Fields be any different than the many other Bears’ quarterbacks that have unsuccessfully preceded him? As all Bears fans know, despite numerous efforts by multiple front offices to find the right quarterback since winning the Super Bowl in 1985, the closest thing the Bears have had to a franchise quarterback in over 30 years is Jay Cutler. This long list of failed attempts at finding a franchise signal-caller has the build-up to this upcoming season feeling quite similar to the 2017 season for some Bears fans when instead of Andy Dalton as the veteran and Fields as the rookie, it was Mike Glennon as the veteran and Mitchell Trubisky as the promising rookie. So again, why are the Bears quarterback fortunes supposed to be different with Fields? The truth is that Fields could end up just like Trubisky, and it is almost impossible for me to predict how successful Fields’ NFL career will be. At the end of the day, drafting quarterbacks is a crapshoot and there is a reason that around half the quarterbacks taken in the first round don’t end up panning out. However, what I can confidently say is whether or not Fields succeeds, he’s different from any other quarterback prospect the Bears have had. In other words, while the Bears have had a long list of quarterbacks, Fields has certain accolades that make him stand out from the rest of the Bears’ quarterbacks.

Fields was a top five-star recruit in high school, a Heisman finalist in college, made the College Football Playoffs in both his years as a college starter and never lost a game at Ohio State when playing in the Big 10. Growing up in the same draft class as top overall pick Trevor Lawrence, Fields has been the 1B to Lawrence’s 1A, who has been touted by some as being the next Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. Fields even beat out Lawrence in high school for MVP honors at the prestigious elite eleven camps and beat him again in last year’s Sugar Bowl. While the Bears have had a long list of quarterbacks, they have never drafted a player at the quarterback position with Fields’ pedigree, and while I do not want to gloss over Fields’ big arm and incredible athleticism, those are not the reasons I am most confident in Fields. The Bears have had quarterbacks with big arms and athleticism, but  what makes Fields different is that in addition to having these impressive physical tools, he has top-notch receipts from every level he has played at up to this point. The Bears got a gift when Fields, who was the presumptive number two overall pick for most of his college career, fell to eleven in the draft and they were able to trade up to get him. So to answer skeptical Bears fans questions, it is possible Fields will ultimately have no more success than the many Bears quarterbacks drafted before him. However, whether or not Fields becomes the franchise quarterback all of Chicago hopes he can be, he is different than the quarterbacks the Bears have drafted in the past and hit or miss, he is the type of player on which I want to keep betting.