Ex-Bears lineman calls Justin Fields 'franchise player'


Former Bears offensive lineman, Roberto Garza, joked about wishing he could still play for today's Bears team. 

"I would have liked to play with Justin Fields (laughs)," Garza said to AS. "I think they have the right pieces and at quarterback, which is the most important, they have a franchise player. They are missing pieces (at) receivers, offensive line and a defense that can help win games. There are several players missing. But I think Ryan Poles has the recipe for great things. This season was very difficult, but we saw great growth from Justin Fields and that gives (us) confidence that he is the quarterback of the future."

Garza, 43, played 14 seasons in the NFL, 10 of which he spent with the Bears. Throughout his time in Chicago, he played 154 games and started in 145 of them. There were only two seasons with the Bears he did not play the entirety of the season. 

He wore multiple hats with the Bears, starting at left guard upon arrival, switching to right guard, then snapping the ball as the team's center during the last four years of his career. 

He retired at 35 years old after the 2014 season. He remains active in football, coaching kids camps in Spain for the Bears. 

Looking back at his career, he wishes there was a little more stability under center.

"The ideal (situation) is to improve year after year with the same quarterback, as legends like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have done," Garza said. "They perfect the plays over time and achieve the ideal chemistry. They all have speed, they all have power, so the key is the way the plays are executed. Those teams that have few changes are the ones that end up winning a lot. We had to start over each season. Hopefully, with Justin Fields, the Bears find stability and can win more than five or six games a year."


Garza helped protect, or snap the ball to, four different quarterbacks throughout his career with the Bears. Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, Rex Grossman and Jay Cutler, who spent the majority of his career with Garza on his offensive line. 

Now, Garza believes the Bears have a stable quarterback at hand in the form of Justin Fields. 

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