Lincicome: Now even Justin Fields is saying he's not an NFL quarterback
The admission by Justin Fields that he is not an NFL quarterback comes as no surprise to those of us who have been saying so since ... well, since before he was drafted by the Bears. There is no special satisfaction in being proved right and, honestly, it gets tiresome saying it over and over.
Now that Fields himself has conceded that the burden of thinking too much is ruining him and keeping him from being all that he can be -- no, wait, all that he used to be -- my advice is for him to do something else and for the Bears to help him do whatever it is.
There must be enough interest around the league -- certainly there is enough sympathy for Fields -- to sucker someone into taking Fields, an option the Bears passed on before the last draft when Fields had more value than now.
If the Bears want a robot at quarterback, there are plenty around. If the Bears want a real quarterback, those don't come along as often and never to Chicago.
The torment and the value of Fields is that all are eager everywhere to see more than is there. Blame does not come his way naturally but takes detours through accusations of poor coaching and organizational incompetence and tradition as well, I would suggest. Poor Justin, just a victim of expectation, somehow a national figure of failure, not his fault, though. Support rushes unsolicited from remote corners of NFL-land, a place that must further overwhelm Fields' overloaded brain.
"Trust your talent, trust your instincts, be the player you've always been." This comes from none other than Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City quarterback and Sunday opponent, though one must be wary of the free advice of foes.
Were the Bears worthy of cunning, they might, in fact, be accused of putting the best team they will play all season off their game, orchestrating a week of chaos and disruption, which may be the only way to beat the Chiefs.
Can't take these Bears seriously. They've got a quarterback moaning about too much homework and a defensive coordinator resigning and votes of confidence given and assorted public distractions daily. Nah, nothing to worry about here.
Those of us know that this is no fiction but merely another installment in the everlasting world in which the Bears exist, regardless of who is in charge or who is playing where or how well.
The Bears' problems are much worse than Fields and to detail them, I suggest looking at the Bears roster, a collection of errors and seat fillers. Football is the one sport where collaboration is essential, where individual success is only possible by collective effort. Any one mistake by any one player and a play is blown
But quarterback is where you look in football, and where you win in football, and when you look at the Bears you see distress and regret. There is a player who wants to be free to flee, to color outside the lines, to choose his moment.
Fields is certainly a gifted athlete, maybe a natural kick returner, or strong safety or running back, possibly a linebacker and the Bears can always use more of those. What he is not, as he says, is an NFL quarterback, a thinker and a thrower, a decision-maker and a decider, his brain cluttered with choices planted there by coaches, those insensitive schemers.
"Could be coaching, I think," said Fields, without thinking.
Consider the student who listens in class, takes notes, nods to show he understands and when it comes time to take the test, he makes up his own answers.
I don't mean to put words in Fields' mouth, so I will use the ones that came out of it.
"I can't be thinking about that when the game comes," said Fields, meaning all that detail about game plans and situations and options and decisions, you know, all that quarterback stuff, stuff that successful NFL quarterbacks manage easily, stuff a staff of less well paid thinkers and planners have sorted out for him.
"When the game comes it's time to play free, thinking less and playing more," Fields said.
Waste of time, all that planning, all those plays. Give him some words he can dance to, as Steve Goodman advised.
Run, Fields, run.