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Former NFL QB Scorches Justin Fields’ Game: ‘Just Not a Good Processor’

Justin Fields has obvious struggles with his game, and former NFL quarterback Phil Simms outlined his biggest issues.



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 9, 2021. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the upside in the quarterback room by adding Justin Fields to the mix. But he’s not perfect, in fact, far from it, as he move into the next stage of his career. One legitimate concern about Fields’ game is his pocket awareness, which often leads to unnecessary sacks. He just doesn’t see the field very well. Russell Wilson has the same issue, however, so the Steelers might be dealing with a potential dilemma.

Fields had two head coaches and three different offensive coordinators in his three years in Chicago. That’s an incredibly tough environment for a young quarterback to develop and grow in. Former NFL quarterback Phil Simms thinks it was the right move by the Bears to trade Fields and start fresh at the quarterback position with Caleb Williams. And on top of that, he outlined his critical issues with Fields in general.

“Just was not a good processor,” Simms said of the Ross Tucker Podcast. “You know, he had some rough games, and people would go,’well, the offense stinks and this,’ but I watch the tape, and there are people wide open. Wide open. First read to him, you have to get 20 and it didn’t happen. Now, I thought he got a little better at the end, but Caleb Williams is clearly a better passer of the football, in my eyes, than Justin Fields.”

Former Bears director of player personnel Josh Lucas, who was on the staff that drafted Fields, shares similar concerns with Cosell.

“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 earlier this month.

Fields took a small step forward in 2023, his third year as Chicago’s starting quarterback. The Ohio State alum threw 370 times, completing 227 for 2,562 yards and 16 touchdowns. He threw nine interceptions and maintained an 86.3 passer rating and a 5.29 adjusted net yards per attempt.

In 2022, he was 192 of 318 for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, an 85.2 quarterback rating and 4.63 adjusted net yards per attempt.

Since 2022, Fields has the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,800 yards and 6.3 yards per carry. Both figures are higher than Lamar Jackson’s.