Justin Fields should be Bears' QB1, Orlovsky explains why


The Chicago Bears say they don't have a quarterback controversy. It's Andy Dalton as the starter, and Justin Fields learning from the sidelines.

Fans will disagree. And so will former NFL quarterback, turned ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky.

"This is easy Chicago. He's your starter," Orlovsky said at the end of a segment illustrating some of Fields' strengths.

Orlovsky broke down Fields' ability to learn "bread crumbs" during a game.

"When I played under Steve Mariucci as a quarterback, he would tell us, you don't stop gathering information just because the play is over," Orlovsky said. "You can continue to get clues or he would call them bread crumbs even between plays.

"And I think Justin Fields did that against Clemson and the college football playoff. It's a perfect example of his intelligence."

Orlovsky goes on to highlight how Fields read the safety after the play, seeing where he ended up biting down on a cross route.

"Justin is going to go, 'I got my eyes on you' for you to tell me to find some breadcrumbs," Orlovsky said. "Now, the play concept defensively for Clemson is that safety responsibility is this half of the field. That's his responsibility depending on the pass concept."

He highlights how Chris Olave on the post route is the fourth option, behind a wide, hitch and seam route. He notices the safety jumping the crossing route and how Fields would push it down field if the pass rush was giving him more time.


Fields ends up throwing the ball away, and Orlovsky shows a post-play moment where Fields is assessing where that safety ended up on the play. Orlovsky says Fields is making a note that he wasn't deep like he was supposed to be.

"But something here told me Justin's finding breadcrumbs, his eyes. This is right now he's staring at that safety like you're not supposed to be where you're supposed to be," Orlovsky said.

"I know the play's over, but I'm going to make sure that I hurt you. I'm not going to allow you to do that again."

Then, fast forward six plays and Fields finds himself in a similar situation with the same kind of defense with that same safety in that same spot.

"Justin didn't go to the sideline. He didn't have to talk with his coach," Orlovsky notes. "He did this himself in the same drive. Six plays later down the pass count."

And Fields uses that intel to punish Clemson.

"You know, I don't want (the first read) because I know (the safety) last time we ran this play was where he's not supposed to be, and I'm going to make him pay for it," Fields said. "You don't allow that guy to not be in that part of the field again.

"When you got that post, he snaps his head back and he's going to drive that post and that safety is going to get penalized for not being where he's supposed to be."

This shows Orlovsky that mentally Fields is ready to play right now.

"Now, everyone's saying, well, Andy Dalton's got experience. He does. He does. But the tape for Justin Fields tells you he's got the intelligence," Orlovsky states.

We've already heard Bears head coach Matt Nagy describe Fields' killer instinct.

“He has that mentality of rip your heart,” Nagy said of a deep ball Fields threw during OTAs in June.

And Fields has said this week that the hardest part of the NFL transition is saying "literally saying the play in the huddle," something he never had to do at Ohio State.

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