Schwartz: Bears gave Fields ‘no legitimate hits’ last year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
As the Bear fill their coaching staff under Matt Eberflus, one of the biggest questions going forward is how offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will build an offense around Justin Fields? Beyond that, can Fields become the superstar quarterback the team hoped he could be when they traded him to draft him 11th overall in last year’s draft?
Geoff Schwartz, former NFL offensive lineman and host of the “Geoff Schwartz is Smarter Than You” podcast caught up with NBC Sports Chicago to the Super Bowl’s Radio Row to share his thoughts. Schwartz said the jury is still out on Fields, but if he wants to become a superstar, the Bears will have to give him a better shot at success than he did last year.
“He’ll have an opportunity and we’ll see early this year if he kind of gets it,” Schwartz told NBC Sports Chicago. “I think you can be good and not have it,” but you drafted him early, you want to win the Super Bowl with him. So it’s too early to say anything about him as he wasn’t really shaken up last year. But I think at the end of next season, in the middle of the year, you will kind of know if he makes those special games.
“He just needs a chance. You know, I think that offense was disjointed in what they did. I think he’s gotten better through the season. You know, I would have I could swear to be very vocal about quarterbacks because Josh Allen burned me. He made a historic change. But I think there’s really something about the idea that you kind of know from the start. I mean, you know, sure, there’s room for improvement and Fields really didn’t get a legitimate chance last year.
Fields struggled for much of his rookie season. He didn’t receive starting reps for much of training camp, which hampered his ability to generate chemistry with offensive playmakers when he finally played. Then there were the questionable protection plans on his first start that led to a historically poor performance against the Browns. It took several weeks for the Bears offense to also be set up to match Fields’ strengths.
That said, the former Bears regime doesn’t take 100% of the blame for Fields’ disappointing rookie campaign. Fields will also have to take some responsibility for improving individually.
“I think he can sometimes clean up the long delivery a bit,” Schwartz said. “And you know, I think Ohio State is still in there, where we want to get as much of that shot deep as possible. Just take what’s underneath, right? And this offense, especially if it’s some kind of LaFleur, McVay, Shanahan offense, he’s going to have a lot of easy options.