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Fields is ‘insane runner’ who lacks consistency

Chris Simms tells Mike Florio what he needs to see more of from Justin Fields next season, after the QB came in at No. 23 on his Top 40 QB Countdown.

Video Transcript

MIKE FLORIO: Let's see who's at number 23, a guy that I think that there are some out there that would put him even higher because he is the most gifted running quarterback right now in football. But the passing game, a work in progress. Justin Fields comes in at number 23. Are you buying all the hype that is going Justin Fields' way as we get closer to the start of the '23 campaign?

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, you know, I've been a-- I'm a defender of Justin Fields, right, and some of the things with all the talk this offseason. Should they trade him away for the number one pick and do all that and draft a quarterback? I was one, like you, that was saying, no, you don't trade that away. There's something elite about his game, and you see if you can build around that, right? But that doesn't mean there isn't some building left to do, you know?

Yeah, he's an insane runner. Like, insane, as good as, like, some of the better running backs and receivers in football. When he has the ball in space and there's room, it's off the charts good, right? But when you get into his quarterback play and leading the offense, my big theme or what I would say is, it's a collection of great plays with no consistency, right?

It plays well on our highlight packages or ESPN. But then when you break the game down, you go, whoa, incomplete pass, not a good read. Oh, he missed a throw here. Oh, OK, good run. Oh, whoa, insane run. Oh, he missed an open receiver. Oh, he was a little off target there. Oh, my gosh, I can't believe he pulled that run off.

You know, then it's-- so that's where there's a lacking. And I can't put Justin Fields higher than that right now because I got to see more in the throwing department and playing in the pocket and doing that, like we talked about earlier in the show. The greatest team I've seen assembled over the last 10 or 12 years, they had the running quarterback offense. And they couldn't win the Super Bowl with a 10-point lead in the second half.

So at some point, you're going to have to play some, I got to play and make some plays in the pocket and run the offense. And this team can stop my run game. And I can-- OK, so what now? I can pick you apart with the passing game. And I got to see that from Justin Fields first before I bump him up more than this.

MIKE FLORIO: It really is fun to watch him play. But the bottom line is, they were the worst team in football life.

CHRIS SIMMS: That's what I'm-- and people have forgot that. That's where it's like-- and it's a little in between there. Well, let's trade him. But now he's going to be-- he's going to be a fantasy lover because he's going to have their stats and the touchdowns that way. So that's going to add to the hype. But the point is, yes, all those highlights and the adjustment they made, a quarterback run, they beat New England. And they never won a game the rest of the year. So that's-- I got to see more there.

MIKE FLORIO: It's going to be interesting to see how defenses prepare to try to bottle him up as a runner. That's when the opening will be there to develop as a passer.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right.

MIKE FLORIO: And that's when he's going to have to show what he can do. Does he get frustrated because the running lane isn't there? Does that impact his ability to throw the ball? I think there's a lot of questions because defenses aren't just going to sit back and say, do to us what you did last year. They're going to try to take away the run.

CHRIS SIMMS: They are.

MIKE FLORIO: They're going to force him to throw.

CHRIS SIMMS: Exactly.

MIKE FLORIO: And he's going to have to be able to develop that way, or it's not going to last for him in Chicago. He's not going to be regarded as a top 25 guy by you next year if he doesn't do it.