Does this recent hire by the Chicago Bears spell doom for Justin Fields?

Chicago Bears, Thomas Brown
Chicago Bears, Thomas Brown / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears are putting part of the Sean McVay band back together. After interviewing for the Bears' offensive coordinator position, but losing out to Shane Waldron, Thomas Brown has signed with the Bears as their passing game coordinator. This is a little interesting as Brown is a former running back. He didn't play quarterback in college either. That said, he is reportedly highly regarded for his offensive prowess and I'm excited to see what he can add to the group of new coaches.

Thomas Brown has only been coaching in the NFL for the last four years. He was with the Rams, under Sean McVay, from 2020 through 2022. He was then promoted to be the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator this past season. The Panthers only won two games, locking in the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft for the Chicago Bears. I'm glad he's viewed as a strong coaching candidate because looking at just the Panthers on a macro level, that wasn't a good season.

Brown also coached side-by-side with Shane Waldron for one season. Waldron was the passing game coordinator (the title Brown now holds in Chicago) for the Rams in 2020 when Brown was the running backs coach. Waldron moved onto the Seahawks but fate has brought them back together again.

Does this new hire scream Justin Fields is gone?

It appears that some fans believe this hire spells the end for Justin Fields. Many are citing the fact that Chicago is putting Waldron and Brown together should indicate that the team is looking to develop a rookie rather than try to further develop Fields.

I think fans need to slow down with that thought process though. I'm not saying that Ryan Poles is going to keep Justin Fields, just as I'm not about to guarantee he takes Caleb Williams (or another QB at 1.01). We just need to take a breath and let things play out because although the team is revamping the offense, who is to say they aren't building something to try and continue to develp Fields?

Think about it. You have a running back with little to no passing experience who is now going to be in charge of the passing game. He's taking a position that was previously held by Tyke Tolbert — some fans think the Bears have never had a passing game coordinator before. He's being paired with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron who literally is best known for working and helping get the most out of veterans rather than taking on a rookie quarterback.

Finally, they hired Kerry Joseph to be the QB coach. Joseph was a college quarterback, turned NFL defensive back, turned CFL standout quarterback. Like Thomas Brown, Joseph only has four years of coaching experience in the NFL. That said, he was also a part of the Seahawks staff with Shane Waldron when the team helped find a resurgence of Geno Smith's career. Note, another veteran.


Ryan Poles, and likely the coaching staff, have an idea of what will take place at the quarterback position this offseason. I'm not even sold on the idea that they have a difinitive answer yet. That said, whatever was discussed in these interviews about the position will likely be the outcome. I'm just not sold that any of these hires truly indicate the Bears are going one way or the other. Dissecting the whys behind each hire, fans can find whatever they want to find to try and justify their own opinions and bias regarding the quarterback position.

Just relax and wait to see what happens. It can go either way.