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Ex-Teammate Says Bears Set Justin Fields Up for Failure

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields had a tumultuous three-year tenure with the Chicago Bears. The environment was toxic on many levels.

Fields had two head coaches and three different offensive coordinators in his three years in the Windy City. How can a young quarterback develop and grow in a situation like that?

Former Bears cornerback Davontae Harris defended Fields on a recent appearance on the Bring The Juice podcast. Harris was teammates with Fields in 2022, and he saw firsthand how it was a no-win situation for Fields.

“Justin’s one of the most down to Earth people in the world. The job was never not his. I think it’s a matter of what he makes it, and I’ve been around him. He’s gonna turn it into an opportunity,” Harris said. “(With the Steelers) he can be a star. Obviously, in Chicago he could too, but when I was in Chicago, they were playing to lose. When they’re playing to lose, it doesn’t matter what you do.”

Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields at the team’s OTAs, June 4, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Jason Goff of NBC Sports Chicago said in March that Fields wasn’t perfect in the situation, but he was dealt an extremely bad hand.

“He was part of the problem. I think Justin Fields got caught up in the worst wasteland you can have to develop a quarterback,” Goff said on Bomani Jones’ podcast The Right Time with Bomani Jones. “Matt Nagy’s on his way out, he wants to play Andy Dalton. He throws him in his first game and says, ‘Here play football.’ And then he gets sacked nine times by Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney and that Cleveland Browns defense. That’s his introduction to it.

“Second year, (general manager) Ryan Poles comes in, ‘Hey, I got to tear this down, I want to build a different way.’ The youngest roster by far in the league. He’s throwing to special teamers. But also, he’s doing things that I didn’t expect him to do, like take off and run as often as he did. Is it all on Justin Fields? A sizeable portion of it is. But, I’m not one of these people that think that this wasn’t one of the worst situations you could drop quarterback in.”

Steelers general manager Omar Khan has been impressed with Fields not only as a player but as a person too.

“We really liked Justin coming out of college. He had an up-and-down situation in Chicago, and the opportunity was there to get him, and I’m excited,” Khan said during a recent appearance on 93.7 The Fan. “He’s really looked awesome. He’s a great individual, too. I didn’t know him personally until he got here. What a special person he is.”

Multiple sources told Steelers Now that Fields is engaged and ‘very active’ in meetings and on the practice field. He has remained attentive to learning the playbook, going out of his way to develop chemistry with the team’s pass catchers, and has embraced learning from Russell Wilson.