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Longtime NFL Analyst Thinks Justin Fields Has a Negative Trait That May Never Change



Pittsburgh Steelers Trade Target Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields

One part of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields’ game that is a legitimate concern 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.

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?”

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. Longtime NFL analyst Greg Cosell thinks it was the right move by the Bears to trade Fields and start fresh at the quarterback position, though.

“I do agree with it, yes,” Cosell said on the Rich Eisen Show Monday. “I think Fields has played enough games. I believe he started 37 games in this league, and one of the things that just stand out, and it’s very hard to coach this… It’s very hard to teach someone to see things clearly when they really don’t just innately (have it). And I think that’s one of the major issues with Justin Fields that may never change.”

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.