The excitement and anticipation surrounding rookie QB Justin Fields is intoxicating. As I’ve pointed out before, the feeling around the organisation and the fanbase is different to when we moved up for Mitch Trubisky, there is a real optimism about what Justin Fields can do.
I’m taking some time here to argue my point that Justin Fields should be the starter week 1 and for me there is no other way to look at it.
I have heard a lot of folks saying that Fields would benefit from sitting behind Andy Dalton “learning” this year. How? How will he benefit from sitting on the side-line not playing real football? How will the organisation benefit from Fields sitting on the side-line watching someone else play?
The answer is, they won’t. The Bears need to play Justin Fields from week 1 because they need to see what they have in this rookie. They need to know if they are going to see the potential in real games scenarios to allow them to then invest further in the offensive pieces around him.
If the Bears wait until next season, or even towards the end of this season to play Fields, then they aren’t going to know what they have. Which means they need to then use year 2 to find out what they have and delay the whole process a year.
I would much rather see the Bears play Justin Fields in every game and we win 5 games, than watch Andy Dalton play all year and we win 6 or 7 games.
As I mentioned on the Irish Bears Show yesterday, this is a transitional year for the Bears. It is highly likely that we are not going to win the Superbowl this year. So why waste time with playing Andy Dalton – a guy who we know all about – this season, when we can put in the young man who clearly has superior physical skills and let him learn on the job?
It does not benefit Fields himself to sit and watch Dalton play. He needs this year to sharpen his skills, work on his craft and build on-field relationships with the players that are there.
I’ve also heard people say that they are worried about the pieces that Justin Fields would have around him in this Chicago Bears offence. Sure, we need to see how Teven Jenkins will progress at LT this year. Sure, we need to see if the new additions at WR will fit in and make things better. Sure, Justin Fields could get injured playing behind a developing offensive line.
To those people I would say this. You can’t wait around forever for other players to develop before playing Fields, you may never play him thinking like that. Also, Justin Fields could get injured at any point in the season regardless of who is in front of him, or who he is playing against. That is the game of football, he’s a big boy, he knows that.
We cannot continue to accept mediocrity in Chicago. We have to play the long game here, which means starting Fields and building towards the future. Dalton can be the back-up and a fine back-up he will be, but he should be nowhere near that starting QB job this season if Justin Fields is ready to go.
Dalton is not the future of this franchise, Fields is. We traded up to get him, we gave up next year’s 1st rounder. That is a lot of investment to just sit someone and not find out what we have.
Play the kid. Develop the kid. Look to the future.