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Analytics Guru Blasts Justin Fields: ‘Worse Than Meh Honestly’



Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Target Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields has a ton of upside and potential, but there are some legitimate concerns. He only has two fourth-quarter comebacks and three-game winning drives in 40 career games. One of the game-winning drives was just a three-down possession and a field goal after Roquan Smith’s interception against Houston to secure a Bears win

On the flip side, Fields had no stability on the coaching front and barely any weapons to work with in Chicago. He had two head coaches and three different offensive coordinators in his three years in the Windy City. That’s an incredibly tough environment for a young quarterback to develop and grow in.

Aaron Schatz, the chief analytics officer from FTN Fantasy, isn’t buying the notion that Fields was just dealt a bad hand in Chicago. He thinks a lot of the issues with the Bears was Fields’ own doing.

“[Fields is] worse than meh honestly. Could we all be wrong about him? Maybe. Is it likely that we’re all wrong about him? No. Justin Fields is bad,” Schatz told Chris Carter of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the North Shore Drive Podcast. “I don’t want to say Justin Fields is bad because Justin Fields is fun, and Justin Fields is exciting, and the highlights are exciting, and the running plays are exciting, and the deep bombs are exciting. You don’t want to pay attention to all the other plays in between where he’s not good and all the sacks he takes and all the pressure he makes for himself and all the incompletions.

“Do you know how incredibly rare it is for a player to be at that level for his first three years and then turn into a reasonable NFL starter? There are basically two guys who have done it in the last 40 years, and that is Alex Smith and, if you want to call him a reasonable NFL starter, Jeff George. There is a little bit of an interesting comparison there, like what if Jeff George was not a d***, then he’d be Justin Fields.”

Fields frequently holding onto the ball and taking unnecessary sacks is a valid point by Schatz. The numbers back it up, too. It’s an issue with Russell Wilson also, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky thinks the QB battle is going to come down to whoever fixes their fatal flaw.

“Who’s going to take the less ridiculous sacks? In the last two seasons, Russell Wilson has taken 100 sacks. Justin Fields has taken 99. No other quarterback in the NFL has taken more than 80. So who could get that out of there game just a little bit? Justin, I would be more inclined because he’s younger,” Orlovsky said.

“And which one of these two guys gets rid of the negative plays? Negative plays are sacks, fumbles and interceptions. Here’s another one: Justin Fields in the last two seasons has 145 negative plays. Russell Wilson has 135. No other quarterback in the NFL has a buck 15 (115). So you’re intrigued, you’re encouraged, but which one of those guys gets rid of those fatal flaws of their game more constantly?”

Former Carolina Panthers quarterback and League MVP in 2015, Cam Newton, thinks learning from Tomlin and Wilson is the perfect setting for Fields to get his career on track.

“Mike Tomlin is doing what I just said. He’s developing Justin Fields. Hey, we’re gonna bring in a veteran that you can see not only in his preparation on the field, but how does he take care of his body? I want you to study that. And then he’s on the one-year contract. If he does not produce, then you will be inserted to take on that. And you’re still young enough, yes, to be labeled a franchise guy,” Newton said on the latest Club Shay Shay podcast with Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe.

“So it’s chess here and if anybody can coach Justin Fields, it’s Mike Tomlin because he knows the struggles. He knows how to, the vernacular, or choice of words to get through to his quarterbacks in that type of manner.”