Chicago Bears: Why Mike Ditka is correct about Justin Fields
By Ryan Heckman
The Chicago Bears quarterback discussion is a never-ending runaround, and it has been for what seems like centuries.
This year, though, the Bears may have turned a corner when they drafted highly-touted rookie quarterback Justin Fields. As training camp approaches, fans are looking forward to seeing the prized rookie in padded practices and, a little later on, preseason action.
Even if Fields looks excellent this summer, though, Matt Nagy will likely stick to his guns. No matter what fans might beg for, Nagy continues to hold firm to his original post-draft comments: Andy Dalton is the Bears’ starter.
One Bears alum happens to disagree with coach Nagy, though, and he may be on to something.
Love him or hate him, Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka is spot on when it comes to Justin Fields.
Bottom line, Mike Ditka is right.
Look, the argument against starting Fields is a sound one. Throwing him in against the best defensive player in all of football, Aaron Donald, might not be the best idea. For his first NFL start to come against a menace like Donald would be almost like a bad joke.
But, think about it this way…
Would you rather see an immobile veteran who is past his best days attempting to escape Donald and avoid throwing it into the hands of Jalen Ramsey? Dalton is almost guaranteed a bad game in prime time against the Rams.
Los Angeles has plenty of tape on Dalton — and recent tape, too. They know his tendencies. They know exactly what he brings to the table. Game-planning against Dalton is going to be a piece of cake, especially when the Rams boast a defense like they do.
On the contrary, game-planning against a dynamic, dual-threat rookie is a whole different ball game. There is zero professional film on Fields. The Rams know what Nagy’s system looks like, but they have never seen it run by a quarterback like Justin Fields — nobody has.
The odds of the Bears winning that game under the direction of Dalton are slim to none, to begin with. Throw Fields in there, and it’s a much more unknown status. Nobody knows what to expect from Fields in Nagy’s system.
He very well could come out swinging and throw the Rams for a loop. No one has any real hunch as to what Fields will do in his first start. What we do know is that he has the confidence of a 10-year veteran. He is not easily shaken. If any rookie is able to handle the top defense in the NFL right away, it’s Fields.
Even if Fields comes out and makes a couple of mistakes, the odds of him bouncing back and making plays are in the Bears’ favor. Again, would fans rather see Dalton out there playing in what’s likely a guaranteed loss? That’s the question.