Could this technique be a part of Justin Fields’ struggles? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
I, like all Bears fans, am trying to pin down the issues the Bears are enduring.
For one, there are a lot of them. The playcalling, the pass protection, the defense. Moreover, Justin Fields’ performance on Sunday against the Packers was shattering. From the looks of it, his development reached a stalemate, as it appeared he’s retreated to his poor habits.
One Twitter video exposed one of them as a potential problem.
There’s a part of Justin Fields’ game we aren’t talking about enough — his dropback pace is bizarrely slow.
Ever wonder why it feels like the #Bears‘ OL is always giving up immediate pressure? This may be part of it. Both plays are shotgun 5-step drops.
Digging in more now. pic.twitter.com/mOM1XUpHpp
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) September 16, 2023
From the video, it’s clear to see Tua Tagovailoa’s dropback time is much quicker than Fields’. Does this mean Fields is inefficient in the pocket? Maybe. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. Maybe Tagovailoa’s dropback time is the quickest in the league.
Nevertheless, Fields’ dropback appears much more casual than that of Tagovailoa’s. That’s reason enough to ponder if his relaxed presence in the pocket is too relaxed.
My opinion? His gentle dropback is a means to stay mentally relaxed in the pocket, take his time and gain comfort. If you’ve watched Fields play thus far in the NFL, you would know he has trouble maintaining a calm presence in the pocket.
And who can blame him? Being sacked 55 times — as he was last season — would certainly habitualize a fear in the pocket. I, for one, would be quick to rush my progressions if I knew most times a defender is bound to be in my face the second I snap the ball.
That’s just a guess. In reality, it could be pure laziness, improper footwork, or some other technical blip. Certainly, from Sunday’s result against the Packers, something — or many things — isn’t working for the Bears.
It’s on them to figure it out. But this could be one piece of the puzzle.