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Colin Cowherd Rips Justin Fields’ Ability to ‘Feel the Game’



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields

The Justin Fields post-minicamp discourse has been pretty wild. I mean, it’s hard to say that a player has looked terrible when it’s just football in shorts. But narratives have run amok.

The commotion stemmed from a Mark Kaboy report that got misconstrued. Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now broke down the real story behind Justin Fields’ spring performance and the talk around it.

Nevertheless, many have their doubts about Fields. Colin Cowherd of FS1 is one of them. He thinks Fields doesn’t have a natural feel for the game.

“It’s a cautionary tale. You can see him peel a 40-yard run once a game, or make a big-time throw down the field,” Cowherd said on The Herd. “You see the gifts, but quarterback is the only position in American sports that much of the greatness you can’t see. (Tom) Brady, (Drew) Brees, Peyton Manning, pre-snap movement, audibling into yards and out of trouble. That accounts for 30-40% of this game. The ability for a quarterback to feel the game and see the game. This has been my knock on Fields.”

Fields’ inability to read the field has been a common knock on him. Fields and Russell Wilson both have a a bad habit of taking unnecessary sacks.

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 Bears director of player personnel Josh Lucas, who was on the staff that drafted Fields, thinks Fields might lack the natural instinct to read the field.

“Our main concern was: ‘Is this just a two-year starting quarterback in college that needs more time? He’s playing around phenomenal talent, offensive line and perimeter skill. He’s got more time to operate. Or is this like a lack of instinct?’ That was our big question, and after three years, I would say there’s a little bit of an instinct issue there,” Lucas said. “It’s why I think the league just told you he’s viewed as a backup quarterback right now more than a starting quarterback,” Lucas said in an interview with Pro Football Focus.