Justin Fields ready to prove himself once again for the Chicago Bears

One storyline for the Chicago Bears throughout the offseason has been the status of quarterback Justin Fields. The 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has been the second quarterback on the team’s depth chart since being drafted, speculation about when Fields will start continues to arise.

For those who followed Fields throughout his college career, the Georgia native originally committed to the University of Georgia where he was a backup during his freshman year in 2018, before transferring to Ohio State for his 2019 season. Now in the NFL, Fields is once again tasked with sitting and learning behind veteran Andy Dalton to earn the starting job, something he’s had to do in the past.

“Just getting better everyday,” Fields said via the Bears official Youtube page. “I mean, I’ve been in a situation like this before and all I did was get better. I feel like if you can control what you can control and come to work everyday with a positive attitude and a want to get better then there’s no stopping you.”

Hard work, dedication, and commitment are three traits that Fields has continued to showcase throughout his college career and as a rookie in the NFL. Add in resiliency, something that was on display throughout the 2020 season for Ohio State, and its clear Fields is the perfect fit for a fanbase starving for a franchise quarterback.

“Great things don’t happen all at once. I’m just going to be patient,” Fields said. “I’ve been in this situation before where I’ve had to learn behind a guy, so this is nothing new for me. I’m just going to take it day by day, get better each and everyday. I’m going to trust coach Nagy and the whole coaching staff here to develop me and make me the best quarterback I can be.”

As Fields rookie season progresses, patience will be required from every side, from fans to coaches to the Bears front office. Fields’ past has shown that everytime he’s needed to prove himself, he’s done and proven himself at a high level, something that will be on display once again throughout 2021.

Did The Chicago Bears Create The NFL’s Newest Dynamic Duo?

New York Giants, Sam Beal

It appeared that the Chicago Bears’ offense was destined to fail heading into the 2021 offseason. After abysmal showings in 2019 and 2020, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. In April, there were questions on who would be Chicago’s QB1 entering 2021. Would Allen Robinson return for the 2021 season? Are the Bears adding depth at the wide receiver and tight end positions? What is going on doing with the offensive line?

Fortunately, we got answers to these questions. First, the Chicago Bears found a way to keep Allen Robinson around for the 2021 season by getting the talented wideout to sign his franchise tender, show up to training camp, and play an active role in the organization. Then in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bears added potential franchise quarterback Justin Fields, stud tackle Teven Jenkins, and a mountain of a guard in Larry Borom.

Considering Allen Robinson’s elite talents and a solid quarterback option in Chicago for the first time in well over 80 years, is the NFL about to be put on notice?

The NFL has a long history of dynamic duos between QBs and WRs. A quick history lesson will bring up parings such as Steve Young/Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman/Michael Irving, and Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison. These duos broken defenses and electrified fanbases, picking up win after win on their ways to the Hall of Fame.

Allen Robinson and Justin Fields could be that next great QB-WR duo. Here’s why:

Allen Robinson is a top 10 wide receiver in the NFL, I’ve been saying it, and I’ll continue to say it. PFF is even willing to call him the 4th best WR in the NFL in their 2021 rankings. His stats speak for themself. He literally sits in the top 10 categories for every recorded metric, outside of touchdowns, by PFF in the 2020 NFL season. Unfortunately, Robinson isn’t as high profile as Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins, or Davante Adams. His lack of profile stems from poor quarterback play throughout his entire NFL career.

Now, imagine with me what will happen when we pair Allen Robinson with the most accurate college quarterback ever recorded. I think we get a sweet symphony of offensive production that the Chicago Bears haven’t heard since the 1980s.

Don’t expect Justin Fields to run out in Week 1 and connect with Allen Robinson for astronomical numbers. I’m excited, but I understand the current QB situation in Chicago. It might be a while until we see Justin Fields and Allen Robinson connect for big plays. Furthermore, Robinson might not return to the Bears in 2022 if negotiations don’t produce a contract by July 17th.

Allen Robinson’s return to Halas Hall this offseason may indicate his belief that Justin Fields can spark this offense’s needs. The winds seem to be changing in Chicago. For the first time in my lifetime, I can look at the offense this team has built and be proud.

Do you think Allen Robinson and Justin Fields can be the next great QB/WR duo? Let me know in the comments section below.

Danny Trevathan fully prepared for 2021 regular season

Entering year six with the Chicago Bears, middle linebacker Danny Trevathan has become a fan favorite and one of the more underrated contributors on the Bears’ defense over the last few years. Despite playing just two full seasons (2018 and 2020) since arriving in Chicago back in 2016, Trevathan is coming off a season that saw him notch 113 tackles, three tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits.

Throughout the first four games of 2020, Trevathan looked noticeably slower, especially due to lack of on-field work throughout the offseason. While there has been a return to normal this offseason, Trevathan was present at mandatory minicamp on Wednesday afternoon and is ready to have another big year in 2021, despite turning 31 years old this offseason.

“It’s my job, I’m just going to do the best I can,” Trevathan said via the Bears official YouTube channel. “Age is nothing but a number. You can try and factor that in as much as you want but come Sunday or Monday, Thursday, whatever time it is, we’ll be prepared.”

Trevathan arrived in Chicago during the 2016 offseason via free agency, making him one of the longest-tenured members of the Bears defense. From Vic Fangio to Chuck Pagano, and now Sean Desai, the Bears defense is on its third defensive coordinator in four years. A challenge to some, Trevathan is ready to play for Desai in 2021.

“He watches a lot of film, he’s a smart guy,” Trevathan said. “He knows football so I think that’s going to help us in the aspect of him putting us in the best situation possible and making the right calls and understanding who’s out there and knowing how the guys can make an impact play.”

With a player of Trevathan’s caliber, Chicago is clearly hoping to be one of the best defenses in the NFL. Entering year two of a three-year extension that was signed in 2020, Trevathan provides Chicago’s defense with a player who can dropback in coverage or get involved in the running game.

“Every year, you want to be a better defense 2018 was a totally different year,” Trevathan said. “Those aspects and those standards were set so we know where we need to get to and we know we have the guys that are capable of doing that. We just want to be the best defense that we can be and in the league, we know we’re going to handle whatever teams throw at us.”

Trevathan is back and ready to play at a high level, however, what’s different is that the expectations are high this offseason, despite a new defensive coordinator. However, if the 31 year old middle linebacker can remain healthy, Chicago should be relatively stable on the defensive side of the ball.

Making sense of the Chicago Bears plan at quarterback

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Questions about what the Chicago Bears quarterback position will continue to revolve around who the starter will be. Between Justin Fields and Andy Dalton, who should start and when have been key points that head coach Matt Nagy has answered throughout the duration of rookie minicamp, OTA’s, and mandatory minicamp.

Nagy has also stressed that Chicago has a plan for Fields development, doubling down on Dalton being the starter. Chicago’s plan is simple: Ride it out with Dalton as long as possible, giving Fields a chance to watch from the sideline on Sunday before handing the keys to the franchise off to the 11th overall pick.

“As we all know, promises can get pretty crazy,” Nagy said via the Bears official YouTube channel. “But what we told Andy is that he’s our starter and he knows that. That’s what Justin knows, that’s what Nick knows. We tell these guys knowing that there’s gotta be a start. This plan that we keep talking about and it takes a little bit of time. When you’re in Andy’s role, when you’re in Justin’s role, when you’re in Nick’s role, they know their roles and now it’s their job to be able to be the best quarterback they can be.”

There does need to be a starting point for any plan in the NFL. Chicago’s plan is unique because many believe that Fields has the athletic and mental makeup to be a day one starter in the NFL.

“We all get excited about Justin Fields. We’d all be lying if we said something different but that said, we’re excited about Andy Dalton too,” Nagy said. “And we know that if we stick to this plan we have, that everything’s going to be just fine. Because let’s face it. When you go through OTA’s, when you go through training camp, you go through preseason, the only goal we have is to put the best quarterback out there.”

“Andy Dalton is our starter, Justin’s our number two, and Nick’s our number three, and we’re going to play that out and make sure they’re competing.”

Fields opening week one as the Bears starter seems to be a last resort for the Bears in mid-June but unless something drastically changes during training camp, Nagy and the Bears are hoping that Dalton is good enough to keep the Bears afloat until it’s time for Fields.

How Roquan Smith is developing into the face of the Bears defense

Roquan Smith spoke in a tempered tone on Tuesday morning but still sounded like a player who’s ready to outperform anyone in 2021. The Chicago Bears linebacker heads into year four after having been snubbed from the Pro Bowl last offseason. Smith will enter year four with the goal of taking on more of a leadership role for the Bears.

Smith’s third season with the Bears with another opportunity to fulfill the expectations that saw him get drafted eighth overall. After a career-high 139 tackles, Smith continues to develop into the face of the Bears defense while also identifying that Chicago’s defense can be better heading into 2021.

“Last year, at the first half, we was playing some really good ball and then we fell off,” Smith said via the Bears official YouTube page. “And I can’t pinpoint a thing or two exactly, I just know we wasn’t getting the job done so I just know at the end of the day, we have to get the job done and at the tail-end, that wasn’t the way we played defense in Chicago so all we have to do is build from that and continue to get. better.”

Smith has seen how quickly Chicago’s defense burst onto the scene back in 2018 but also how the same defense, with a majority of the same starters, has taken a slight step back, leading many outside the Bears fanbase to question how good Chicago’s defense will really be in 2021. For Smith, the goal for Chicago’s entire unit shouldn’t be just padding the stat sheet, rather just playing at a high level, creating big plays throughout the process.

“I think it’s going to start with effort, being relentless and just not taking no for an answer,” Smith said. “And everyone just busting their tails in all facets of the game. I feel like if we all do that, the takeaways, turnovers, sacks, and everything like that, that’ll all come.”

Simply put, Smith isn’t just developing into a leader due to his experience. Listening to him speak on Tuesday afternoon, he’s now identifying what the Bears defense needs to do in order to get back on top but also continuing to lead by example by being one of the only defensive starters present for both phases of OTA’s throughout the first two weeks in June.

Eddie Jackson sees similarities between Vic Fangio and Sean Desai

Entering his fifth NFL season, Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson has become a key part of the Bears defense. After a breakout season in 2018 that saw Jackson with six interceptions, Jackson has just two interceptions over the last two seasons, including none in 2020. Jackson wasn’t just successful in 2018 because he was a talented player, the former fourth-round pick was successful because then-Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio put Jackson in a position to succeed on every single player, utilizing the free safety to his strengths.

Entering 2021, questions revolve around whether Jackson can really be as dominant as he was in terms of production just three seasons ago. New defensive coordinator Sean Desai, the Bears third in four seasons under head coach Matt Nagy, is a former Fangio disciple, which Jackson sees as positive.

“Just the scheme-wise, you know, just the scheme-wise, he likes to do a lot of different things,” Jackson said via the Bears official YouTube channel. “I don’t want to put too much stuff out there. He does a lot of different things. He emphasizes the same things that Coach Vic emphasized on with disguise purposes. Just challenging us, coming in everyday and just challenging us on and off the field, being better players and teammates.”

Heading into 2020, Jackson’s running mate, strong safety Tashaun Gipson is also expected to return, marking the first time since the 2018 season that Jackson will have the same safety starting to him for the second consecutive season.

“It’s huge, it’s huge, I haven’t played with a safety two years in a row since Adrian Amos,” said Jackson. “So to come back and have that chemistry, it’s huge, especially back there. I’m in his head, he’s in my head. The type of athlete Gip is, he brings a lot of stuff that we can use, me and him together and also for the defense that Sean can for disguise purposes.”

Jackson could have a major year as the Bears continue to prepare for the 2021 season but the free safety’s confidence in his new defensive coordinator showcases that there could be a bit of a revival under Desai in 2021.

What’s next for Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy heading into year 4?

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Entering year four with the Chicago Bears, head coach Matt Nagy has failed to really establish any sort of consistency when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. To say Nagy hasn’t been good enough could be considered an understatement. Two playoff appearances in three seasons isn’t as meaningful when you’ve failed to win a game in January, let alone get past the first-round.

Once labeled as being an “offensive guru”, Nagy’s offenses have ranked 9th, 29th, and 22nd since 2018. He’s cycled through three starting quarterbacks (Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, and Nick Foles), and enters year four with two new starters at the most important position in sports: Andy Dalton and Justin Fields.

In a city with a defense-first mentality but in a league where the game is so catered towards the offense, Nagy must still turn the Bears into an offensive powerhouse alongside Fields if Chicago hopes to ever get back to the Super Bowl. With Fields now in the fold, 2021 should solely be focused on the development of the 11th overall pick. As a dual-threat quarterback who can hit any throw on the field, Fields operates in the redzone at a high level, while showcasing solid pocket presence, poise, and accuracy.

Bears ownership must also recognize that Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace need to be given extra time to develop Fields. Rather than hit the reset button with the front office and coaching staff during the 2022 offseason, ownership needs to operate with a two-year mindset, giving Nagy and Pace enough time to show that Fields could alter the course of franchise history.

Listening to Nagy speak in press conferences over the last few weeks has led to one main takeaway: He’s excited about his new rookie quarterback but he also sounds like a head coach who knows that his job isn’t on the line heading into 2021. Fields has brought renewed energy and hope for the Bears franchise but Nagy’s next step in year four includes focusing on the development of Fields because it could lead to the head coach having long-term job security.

Damien Williams experience a valuable asset for the Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears made a number of intriguing moves throughout the NFL’s annual free agency period, bringing in veterans like running back Damien Williams to help shore up depth throughout the roster. One unexpected signing was Williams, especially since many believed that running back depth wasn’t necessarily a need for the Bears but William’s familiarity and experience within the offensive system that head coach Matt Nagy runs made him an intriguing pickup.

Despite opting out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19, Williams enters a running back room featuring David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen. While his role will be a rotational player, Williams did spend two seasons (2018 and 2019) with the Kansas City Chiefs, playing in an offensive very similar to what Nagy hopes to run.

“Being that I’ve been in this offense, I could give out pointers here and there but these guys, they’re great, they know what they’re doing,” Williams said via the Bears official YouTube page. “So all I can do is give my vet, my little things here and there of what I’ve been through and what I’ve seen. I’m just trying to get in here like the rookie kid and fit in.”

When looking at Williams career, rarely has he ever been asked to be a workhorse running back. Rather, he’s continued to be a rotational player, amassing just 13 starts since 2014, while playing in 85 games. As a dual-threat running back, Williams has made a name for himself as a pass catcher over the years with 138 receptions for 1106 yards, and 10 touchdowns, averaging eight yards per reception.

Montgomery and Cohen are very experienced in the Bears offense, however, adding a player like Williams as a sounding board will be helpful for younger running backs like Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce, and Khalil Herbert, all three of which could end up battling for roster spots heading into 2021.

Chicago Bears: Darnell Mooney ready for a major jump in year two

darnell mooney, bears

After finishing his rookie season with the Chicago Bears with nine starts, 61 receptions, and four touchdowns, wide receiver Darnell Mooney will enter year two as a breakout candidate for the Bears. Some would argue that Mooney broke out last season, but the former fifth-round pick is just scratching the surface of how good he really can be.

The plan for Mooney is simple: Develop into WR2, becoming a perfect complement to eight-year veteran Allen Robinson. Mooney showcased flashes of how complete of a player he could develop into last season, quickly becoming a starter and never looking back.

Chicago’s coaching staff was impressed with Mooney’s rookie campaign, and entering two, Mooney’s expectations are sky-high.

“They told me I exceeded expectations and that I played very well,” Mooney said via the Bears official Youtube page. “To me, I didn’t exceed everything I wanted to accomplish but going into year two, I just want to be more of a threat to the defenders and more of an asset to the team.”

Mooney brings so much to the Chicago Bears:

One attribute of Mooney is being a team player, knowing that helping the offense succeed should always be the first priority. Operating from the slot but also playing time on the outside last offseason, Mooney is open to being used in any role, especially as head coach Matt Nagy sees fit.

“Just sitting down, thinking of creative ways, whatever coach Nagy comes up with,” Mooney said. “He has a creative mind with plays and wherever I can be in a good position to be more of an asset to the team, I’m willing to take that on.”

Smart coaching can be the difference between good and great players. In Mooney’s case, he’s willing to do anything to take a significant jump in year two, especially since the starting wide receiver job is his to lose at this point. The game has also slowed down significantly for Mooney, which is of immense benefit.

“Extremely benefit, sometimes and before the play even happens, I can see how it plays out in my head and then seeing defenders body language and understanding the defensive look,” Mooney said. “It is extremely benefit to have that experience under my belt.”

As Mooney enters year two with the Chicaog Bears, look for him to truly burst onto the scene and gain some league-wide recognition that wasn’t present last offseason. Mooney has done everything and more to warrant taking a major jump in year two, something that will happen with stabilized quarterback play.

Will the Chicago Bears be successful with the Patrick Mahomes model?

If there’s one phrase to describe the NFL, it’s copycat. One successful method ends up being used by other NFL franchises in hopes of emulating any sort of success. Such is the case for the Chicago Bears this offseason after overhauling the quarterback room with the additions of Andy Dalton and Justin Fields.

Head coach Matt Nagy, who was with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, will be responsible for overseeing the development of Fields. Nagy did the exact same five years ago with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes, leading to speculation that Chicago could implement the same method for Fields development in 2021.

Before we get into actually examining if the Bears will be successful with the Mahomes model, there are few points to note. First, Mahomes started the final game of his rookie season, sitting on the bench for 15 games. Smith had 26 touchdowns to just five interceptions that year. Second, the Chiefs 2017 roster was more stable compared to the Bears. There may have been holes but the Chiefs boasted the sixth-best scoring offense and the 15th best defense that year.

The hope for Chicago is that Dalton plays well enough as a rookie quarterback to hold off Fields long enough. With a 17 game schedule coming up, Dalton has a tough task ahead, especially since any sort of slip up could entice Nagy to immediately play Fields.

“At that point in time, in 17, Alex was, there was a lot of reps he was getting,” Nagy said via the Bears official Youtube channel. “So a lot of times right now for these players, in particular Justin, there’s a lot of mental reps. Really what happens is this: You get the mental side down in the offseason, you’re able to come out here on the grass and see what the timings like.”

Fans may call for Fields to be the week one starter but Nagy and the Bears have continued to persist that it’ll be Dalton. The goal for Fields in year one isn’t just to get physical reps but also mental reps. Nagy knows the benefit of mental reps for a young quarterback, especially considering Mahomes spent 15 games on the bench as a rookie, continuing to watch, getting mental reps each week.

Chicago may not be able to emulate the Mahomes model entirely to its specificity but similarities will exist. The last time Chicago had a rookie quarterback, the franchise rushed Mitchell Trubisky into action out of desperation but with Fields, the plan is to bring him along slowly, emulating the Mahomes model.