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Bears Training Camp: Justin Fields Isn't Ready

Is the Bears' rookie quarterback ready to play in the NFL?
Justin Fields Bears

Photo: David Banks/AP

The first week of Chicago Bears' training camp is over and we've learned a lot so far. Rookie offensive lineman Teven Jenkins is still not practicing due to a back issue. The Bears placed Dazz Newsome on the PUP list and he's since been removed. Tarik Cohen is still recovering from his ACL injury dating back to last season. Among the plethora of injuries, the looming question remaining is: how long until we see Justin Fields? It's sad to say -- or is it -- that Justin Fields isn't ready to start in the NFL yet.

Justin Fields Comments

"Greatness doesn't happen overnight." That perspective is extremely true in the NFL. The leap from college football to the professional level is large and everyone has more to learn. Knowing where to put the ball and how to read a defense is a skill that most Bears fans haven't seen much of from Chicago quarterback play lately. Fields already possesses that skill. However, based on his recent comments, he's not ready for the increase in speed.

Justin Fields can't immediately get to the NFL and throw the pigskin around with the veterans. No quarterback does that in the beginning. His recent comments lead me to believe that he himself doesn't think he's ready to start. To play devil's advocate, of course a man of his new stature as a first-round NFL Draft pick is going to say these things. He's going to stay humble and accept the opportunity to learn from the veterans in front of him. When you couple Fields' words with head coach Matt Nagy's comments, then the result is clear.

Chicago Bears offseason Justin Fields workout

Photo: Jon Durr/USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Nagy and Andy Dalton

Matt Nagy has consistently stated that Andy Dalton will be the starter in Week 1 against the Rams. His most recent press conference made it clear that Dalton is looking good in training camp. Furthermore, Dalton has repeatedly said that he was told that he's the starting quarterback and that's why he came here.

Bears sideline reporter Mark Grote recently spoke on local radio station 670 The Score about training camp. In summary, Grote says that Dalton has looked surprisingly good in camp. He also said that Fields missed some key throws that none other than Mitchell Trubisky struggled with as well. This doesn't mean that Justin Fields is bad. This means that Justin Fields isn't ready for the NFL just yet.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the NFL football team's rookie minicamp Friday, May, 14, 2021, in Lake Forest Ill. (AP Photo/David Banks, Pool)

Photo: David Banks/ AP

Many Chicago Bears fans are begging the organization to start Fields over Dalton. I understand the desire that comes with getting a new toy and wanting to play with it immediately. But the fact of the matter is that Justin Fields isn't ready but Andy Dalton is. The Bears aren't going to the Super Bowl in September. There is no need to rush a young quarterback onto the field before he has a full grasp of a professional offense.

Take Joe Burrow for example. Sure, he might have been ready to start from the get-go in 2020, but the Bengals also had no other options. They had a weak offensive line and Burrow got hurt. With Teven Jenkins missing a large chunk of training camp and more injuries coming every day, there is absolutely no reason to rush Fields' development and force him into a potential situation like Burrow endured. Have patience Bears fans, there is sunlight on the horizon.