Jeremy Fowler says league 'skepticism' remains about Justin Fields' passing
ESPN analyst: 'Skepticism' remains about Fields' passing originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears have started to put pieces in place to help the Bears' offense, and more specifically, Justin Fields for the future.
They've upgraded their wide receiver core, bringing in the likes of DJ Moore via trade and Cincinnati's Tyler Scott through the draft. They've also stockpiled their running back room with veteran talent and Roschon Johnson, a rookie out of Texas. They signed Robert Tonyan to duo with Cole Kmet as the team's tight ends.
Ryan Poles & Co. have put in some serious work this offseason. Yet, according to ESPN analyst Jeremy Fowler, "skepticism" remains.
"There is some skepticism that exists among some team officials around the league about his ability to get it done as a pocket passer," Fowler said on ESPN. "Can he be that precision guy that you need from the pocket? Those questions are not going away until he proves otherwise."
Fields has caught a solid amount of flak for his lack of production as a passer. Most of the cap tips he's received over his first two years are from his explosive production on the ground in 2022 and his flashes of possessing an elite deep ball.
It remains to be seen if he can develop as a passer. To the skeptics' credit, Fields has thrown for a lowly ~4,000 yards through two seasons. He has a career completion percentage of just under 60 percent and he's barely thrown more touchdowns than interceptions, too.
He has yet to prove his value in the passing game. But many attribute that lack of success to the roster around him. The Bears' rosters over the last two seasons have been abysmal, to put it candidly. The offensive line and wide receiver groups have never been up to par. Plus, their defense has ranked 32nd and 21st in 2022 and 2021, respectively.
But the team has hope that the roster enhancements made this offseason will help him thrive. And from there, his playmaking ability will take over.
"That exact same point was made by somebody in the organization that I spoke directly to. They said 'Only certain players in this league have the ability to elevate an entire team. Fields is one of them,'" Fowler said a team official told him about Fields.
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Fowler added the team believes the improvements made on the offensive line will help him in a "big way." The Bears drafted Darnell Wright, who is arguably the best tackle from this year's draft class, with the No. 10 pick. They also signed Nate Davis to become the team's starting right guard alongside Teven Jenkins and Cody Whitehair in the interior.
Can Fields elevate his play, along with the performance of the Bears, as quickly as next season?
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