With a seemingly make-or-break season ahead for GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy, the offseason was busy. The franchise tag was placed on Allen Robinson and no deal was made before the July 15th deadline. We’ll be without multiple 2020 starters including Charles Leno Jr, Bobby Massie, Buster Skrine, Kyle Fuller, Anthony Miller, and of course Mitchell Trubisky.
To fill some of the holes in the roster, the Bears signed QB Andy Dalton, CB Desmond Trufant, WRs Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin, and RB Damien Williams. There wasn’t much excitement in the fanbase heading into the draft as the team held the 20th pick with glaring needs across the depth chart. Many thought the Bears would draft OT Teven Jenkins with the 20th pick to shore up the offensive line but Ryan Pace, sitting in the hot seat, electrified the fanbase by trading up from their 1st and 2nd round slots to draft both Justin Fields and Teven Jenkins. All of a sudden, we had our left tackle of the future, our franchise quarterback, and plenty of reasons to be excited for the upcoming season.
As more and more people doubted Mitchell Trubisky, I’ll admit that I was one of his optimistic supporters, even into the 2020 season. But that officially changed on the fateful play against the Atlanta Falcons last year. Before the snap, the Falcons showed blitz with six players at the line of scrimmage but dropped into zone coverage when the ball was snapped. Mitch panicked and went straight to his check down and the ball ended up in the Falcons possession as Allen Robinson came wide open 15 yards downfield. He was benched in favor of Nick Foles, who led a remarkable comeback but failed to give the offense life in every game after that.
When teams could game plan for the immobile quarterback, defenses didn’t have to account for the quarterback being a threat in the run game or even leaving the pocket. When defenses game planned against Mitch, they didn’t have to account for as many downfield throws. The Bears offensive game plan was completely different with each of those quarterbacks but Justin Fields now throws all of that out the window.
Fields, in college, was an extremely athletic quarterback who ran the ball well but showed he could also sit in the pocket and dissect some of the best defenses in college football. With Fields at the helm, we can expect to see a widely diverse playbook that us Bears fans have never quite seen before from this team. With his skillset, Fields will be able to do almost anything you can throw at him. He’ll tuck the ball and lower his shoulder for designed QB runs between the tackles, go under center and be able to flip his hips and fire strikes to the sideline, improvise on a play completing a throw on the run, and drop back and throw receivers open 40 yards downfield.
Chicago has never had a quarterback as talented as Justin Fields so he gives us every reason for us to be excited. Matt Nagy has taken some criticism from the past and many have called for him to be fired. After taking the Bears to the playoffs in two of his three years with Mitch Trubisky, he has no excuses now with the talent he has under center.
Brett Kollman’s YouTube channel, where he breaks down NFL film, is one of my favorites. His latest video analyzes tons of plays where the Bears were limited because of their quarterback (including the Mitch/Falcons play) and describes how the offense will change with Justin Fields. For Bears fans, it’s a must-see. You can find the link to the video below.