The Chicago Bears are set to start undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent for a second week in a row when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night due to Justin Fields’ thumb injury. Head coach Matt Eberflus made it clear that when Fields is healthy, he will return as the starting quarterback. But given how Bagent has looked and the type of offense the team put together for him during his first start, one former Bear and current analyst thinks Fields should start looking for new places to play while the team sticks with Bagent moving forward.
Olin Kreutz, the former Bears center and current NFL analyst, joined 670 The Score’s Parkins & Spiegel show on Friday for his weekly hit and shared that he believes the Bears coaching staff is unwilling to design an offense around Fields. For that reason, he thinks Fields should want to go elsewhere to a team that will use him in a more effective way and for the Bears to stick with Bagent going forward. Kreutz explains his reasoning:
The Bears have shown you that they’re not going to design an offense around Justin Fields. It’s not that any of us think Justin Fields can’t win in the NFL, that we don’t see his immense talent, that we don’t see the way he runs the ball, that we don’t think he’s a dynamic playmaker, it’s that the Bears are insisting they want a quarterback that can beat you from the pocket. The only thing that tells me that is the film.
The film tells me they insist on coach [Luke] Getsy, coach [Matt] Eberflus, Ryan Poles, they want a quarterback in the pocket, they don’t want these college concepts, they don’t want to run a of quarterback runs, they don’t want to run a lot of zone reads. So if they’re going to do that, if I’m Justin Fields, I want out of Chicago. I want to go somewhere where they use me the way I think I can help a team win, the way I think I can be elite.
I think they should stay with Bagent because that’s the kind of quarterback they want anyway.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) October 27, 2023
Kreutz has seen his fair share of quarterbacks trying to run offenses that don’t fit their style, and he makes valid points. For much of the season, Fields and Getsy haven’t been able to work effectively together. Things looked to be improving overall before Fields’ injury in Week 6, but that was after three weeks of poor offensive play. Now Bagent comes in and operates the offense like Getsy and Eberflus wanted with positive results, abeit for one game.
There’s no denying Fields’ natural talents, as Kreutz says, and there have been periods of success during their year and a half together. But after 21 games in this offense, it feels like the two sides just aren’t a match and are destined for divorce at some point.
That being said, it’s highly unlikely the Bears will bench Fields for the rest of the season, and it would come as a complete shock to see him moved prior to the NFL trade deadline next week. He will make his return in the next week or two and look to show the organization he deserves to be in the long-term plans. The third-year quarterback has thrown for 1,201 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions in six games, the bulk of his production coming in recent games. But Kretuz thinks he should want out and it’s hard to blame him.