3 plays where Justin Fields made rookie mistakes in Chicago Bears debut

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

Nobody is saying that Matt Nagy is not to blame for the awful debut of Justin Fields. I wrote that Nagy deserves more blame than anyone for the failures. However, the Chicago Bears rookie quarterback debut was going to be a work in progress regardless. There were going to be mistakes and things to work. To say fire Matt Nagy and not take anything away from Fields performance doesn’t make much sense.

With that in mind, the following three plays are plays where Justin Fields clearly left yards on the field. He showed rookie issues and areas to improve. This is not to say he is a bust, but rather where his current struggles come from.

Play 1, Second, and 9 from Cleveland Browns 36

This is the first drive and the play below the ugly third and two that we wrote about as an issue on Nagy. However, it is fair to say that Fields may have been able to take a shot at a touchdown the play before. Take a look at what Justin Fields is diagnosing as he hits the last step of his drop.

"View post on imgur.com"

He has a clean pocket and plenty of room to step up. Still, as shown by the boxes, what Fields needs to be reading on this play is the middle of the field. He has a post and slant crossing the middle and a deep post over the top. As the three routes cross, he should read the two middle-of-field defenders, and find the open man.

You can see how the play works out below. Damiere Byrd towards the bottom of the screen breaks towards the end zone. Both safeties take Darnell Mooney who is running from the bottom to the top. The linebacker is on Allen Robinson as is the cornerback. Fields should read the safety, see him break on Mooney, and know that there is no one over the top of Byrd.

He scrambles for seven, but we know that while Justin Fields can scramble when needed, he has to be able to drop 36 yards touchdowns from the pocket to be a good quarterback. That is much better than third and two. Perhaps the safety stayed low because he saw Fields step up and attempt to scramble.

Either way, Fields should be reading the middle of the field, and therefore could be looking the safety off, knowing that he can attack whichever play he breaks on.

Now, look at the end zone view below. We heard for months that Fields locks onto his first read for a bit too long. Was it narrative, or true? This issue came up here for sure. His first read is Robinson, running the short slant. He never gets off of him. Even when he pumps, he is staring down Robinson.

The worst part is that you can see from the overhead that Robinson is never open. The corner swarms him, and if he is looking at the middle of the field, he should know the linebacker is waiting on the already covered wideout. This should be a quick look and move on to the next read.

If his next read is Mooney he should get the safety to break, and boom, his third read working left to right is Byrd. This play worked, and it did prove out one of the knocks on Fields pre-draft that he needs to work on.