Chicago Bears Film Review: Justin Fields must improve against this

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

It is clear that the coaching is the biggest issue hindering the Chicago Bears development of Justin Fields, and we wrote just as much. Still, while some fans want to completely absolve Fields of everything, it is fair to say that he is a rookie and is going to make mistakes himself because, well, he is a rookie. Ignoring his strengths and weaknesses along the path of his development because you do not like his coach makes no sense. There is plenty to take away and there is enough evidence to separate coaching from play at times.

With that in mind, one thing we wrote about pre-draft with Justin Fields was that he did have a weakness against delayed blitzes. Too often he would feel comfortable pre-snap and look for a delayed blitz and get caught completely off-guard when a rusher came from where he did not expect.

More examples are linked above, but the play against Penn State shows that this has been an issue back to the Buckeye days. The first blitzes gets picked up, but the late blitzer comes in free and Fields is not accounting for him at all.

This has been a reoccurring issue in the NFL as well. Khalil Herbert struggled in pass protection on this play below when Justin Fields fumbled and Herbert jumped on it. Still, most of it comes down to Fields not setting the protection pre-snap.

You can see that Antoine Winfield is playing with Justin Fields. He drops back when the man goes into coverage, and Fields reads this. He now has Winfield out of site out of mind. When Winfield comes at the last second Fields has no idea because he swore he saw him dropping pre-snap.

This has been a consistent issue, and was not just a play from Sunday. Here we see the Lions blitz off the edge. The rusher takes one step with the running back in coverage. Fields assumes that he is covering the back, and in fact, the back is running free. The rush gets home, though because Fields is not expecting it. He is not checking to the back, because he thinks the blitzer is there.

Here we see another delayed blitz. This one almost looks like the linebacker is dictating what he does based on the running back. He watches the back run to the right and knows he will not flare out which causes him to blitz.

Against the Browns every lineman was getting beat, but again you can see that Fields was not expecting the delayed blitz. All four of these plays look far too similar, and this did go back to college.

This is not to say that Fields is set to be a bust, and good coaching staff would be recognizing this. Still, this is a clear flaw in the game of Fields from the mental side that he will need to work on.

Next. biggest difference between David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. dark

It is something that will come with more experience and feel in the pocket. At some point he will have a timer and a thought that there will always be extra rushers, and extra bodies around him. For now, he has to see it to feel it first. These are things that happen with rookies.