Bear Necessities: Ryan Poles loved how O-line came to Justin Fields’ defense on late hit vs. Browns

·1 min read

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Bears quarterback Justin Fields has learned the hard way that he’s not going to get the roughing calls that more seasoned quarterbacks are afforded in the NFL. During the preseason, Fields was hit late twice, including in the preseason opener against the Chiefs that wasn’t called a penalty.

It happened again in the preseason finale against the Browns, where Fields went to slide and took a shot to the head. Several Bears, including offensive linemen Sam Mustipher and Larry Borom, stepped in to defend their quarterback.

General manager Ryan Poles praised the offensive line jumping in to defend Fields after the late hit.

“They’re getting it,” Poles said Thursday. “They’re stepping up when they need to and protecting their guy.”

It’s a subtle yet important change from last year, where the offensive line rarely came to Fields’ defense — during a season when he was sacked more than any other quarterback in the league.

Bears fans surely remember when Teven Jenkins stood up for Fields after he took a late hit out of bounds against the Vikings last season. Former Bears lineman Germain Ifedi shoved Jenkins for drawing a penalty in standing up for his quarterback.

But this offseason, Poles made it clear the kind of offensive linemen he’s looking for — and that includes those who will rise to the defense of their quarterback rather than walk back to the huddle.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire