Justin Fields had a few rough outings in college, but Matt Nagy isn’t deterred by the tape.
The Bears have had a history of trading up in the draft — enter Mitchell Trubisky, who they parted ways with a few months ago — yet they moved up to select Fields with the 11th overall pick. It didn’t come cheap, either, as the Bears gave up their first and fourth-round picks to do so, similar to the Packers’ Jordan Love deal last year.
But the Bears appear to believe in Fields, whereas many other teams may not have. He was initially slated to be a top-10 pick, but the young signal-caller slipped on many draft boards. But with Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace on the hot seat, the Bears moved up to trade for the Ohio State product, in what was viewed by many to be a desperation attempt to save their jobs.
Don’t tell that to Nagy, however, as he recently defended Fields on the “Ross Tucker Football Podcast.” The Bears head coach had no issue discussing the Indiana and Northwestern games, when Fields threw five of his six interceptions this past season. Here’s what he had to say.
“That’s gonna happen,” Nagy said, as transcribed by Larry Brown Sports. “I talked to (Ohio State coach) Ryan Day about this — how does he handle those situations when that goes on? What is he like on the bench in between series? What is he like talking to you coming off the field after a bad play or a sack. How was he after the game when you won but it didn’t go real well offensively. Those are, to me, what’s important.”
Fields does have a high ceiling as a dual-threat quarterback, as he’s quite athletic, but he has a lot of room for improvement. So while it’s easy to defend him, we’ll see how he fares at the professional level, once the Bears decide it’s the “right time” to have him start under center.