Justin Fields is no doubt Chicago’s long-term answer at QB. However, history has shown that timing is an important factor with young, talented athletes.
The Chicago Bears made perhaps the deal of the draft by trading up to 11th overall to select Ohio State QB Justin Fields. The Bears will were lucky in the sense that Fields likely wouldn’t have slipped so far in any other draft class.
This year’s QB class was exceptionally strong, and saw 3 signal-callers selected before Fields. Despite this, it would definitely be no surprise if Fields grows into the best player out of the lot.
Chicago clearly rates the dual-threat passer highly, and hopes he will be a solid player in a position that the Bears have famously struggled to fill. That being said, they also brought in Andy Dalton before the draft so Matt Nagy certainly has a tough decision to make.
Jay Cutler Thinks Justin Fields Should Be Benched Week 1
One of Fields’s predecessors weighed in on the debate on ESPN. Jay Cutler, franchise leader in passing yards and TDs, said that Andy Dalton’s experience makes him the right choice to step onto the field week 1.
“I wouldn’t play the kid [Fields] to start. That’s what I would do, I would let him watch. I think it’s just a tough spot to put someone out there, especially in Chicago and I think Andy [Dalton] is more than serviceable,” he said. “I think they can win games with Andy and kind of float the ship along until the kid is ready.”
Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said on ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy Show that Justin Fields is “obviously talented and has a chip on his shoulder” but he shouldn’t start Week 1.
Cutler: “Let him watch. You can win games with Andy Dalton. I really like Matt Nagy.”
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) May 25, 2021
Cutler, also the 11th overall pick in his draft, brought up his own rookie season in Denver as an explanation. At the time, Cutler was benched in favor of Jake Plummer.
“I didn’t feel equipped to play Week 1 just because mentally, I wasn’t taking the reps. It’s different for me, I need the reps, I need to see it. I didn’t take the reps so I wasn’t ready to play,” Cutler explained.
“But I also think it benefitted me tremendously of watching it, seeing the ups and downs, see us lose games, see us win games. And Jake [Plummer] was a consummate pro.”
“He was fabulous with me and just seeing how he handled life as an NFL quarterback those first 10-12 weeks was insanely valuable for me. Whenever I stepped in, he supported the hell out of me and helped me, answered questions and was there.”