‘I Wouldn’t Play the Kid to Start’ – Former Bears QB Feels Franchise Must Be Patient With Justin Fields

Published 05/30/2021, 11:02 AM EDT
Dec 19, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) drops back to pass against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


The Chicago Bears’ first-round draft pick caught a lot of people by surprise. Trading up to the #11 spot, the Bears drafted quarterback Justin Fields. 

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This was done after the franchise signed veteran Andy Dalton to be their quarterback for the 2021 season. With three quarterbacks now on their roster including the likes of Fields, Dalton, and Nick Foles, the Bears coaching staff will have some important decisions to make.  

Start the experienced veteran or go all guns blazing with their rookie QB. One former Bears quarterback though feels that showing some patience with the rookie might be the Bears’ safest bet. 

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Justin Fields needs time to grow

Appearing on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler suggested that starting the rookie right off the bat might not be the best idea for the franchise.

“I wouldn’t play the kid to start. I would let him watch,” Cutler said. The franchise has a history of struggling at the quarterback position. 

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After experimenting with Mitch Trubisky and Foles in 2020, the side decided that they needed some new faces to make things work again. 

Thus with the undue pressure that comes with being a QB for the Bears, Cutler said he thinks Dalton should take the snaps come Week 1.

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) attempts a pass against the Clemson Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

“I think it’s just a tough spot to put someone out there, especially in Chicago. So I think Andy is more than serviceable. I think they can win games with Andy and kind of float the ship along until the kid is ready.”

For the Bears, a lot depends on how the coming season pans out. After a string of disappointing seasons, Head Coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace know that their jobs could be on the line.

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Moving up for Fields is a sign that the Bears management is actively looking to turn things around for the franchise. But expecting the young QB to change their fortunes overnight might be a bit of a stretch. 

Till Fields gets accustomed to the league and his new surroundings, the franchise will have to bank on Dalton to win them games. Dalton has been a starter in the past. 

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Filling in for the Dak Prescott last season, Dalton marshalled the Cowboys to a 4-5 record as a starter. While that might not be enough to get the Bears to the playoffs, it would definitely allow Fields to enter the league as a more refined product. 

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Shivayan Roy

750 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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