The past few months have been chock full of change for the Chicago Bears, and it hasn’t been easy.
First-year general manager Ryan Poles had two decisions he could make. First, he could roll with the team in place and try to add a couple of more pieces and compete in Justin Fields’ second year — which would have been dangerous, and probably downright foolish considering the holes in this roster.
Second, Poles could rid the team of the aging, dead weight like Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, etc. and try to acquire future capital and assets to build the best team possible in 2023.
Of course, Poles went with the second option — but some fans, and analysts, are having a tough time believing in that decision. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio went on air with the Dan Bernstein Show the other day with one of the worst Bears takes of the offseason:
“It feels like the Bears are deliberately taking a step back. And the problem is usually teams do that when they don’t have a QB they believe in … Maybe that’s the hidden message here — that the new regime doesn’t believe in Justin Fields. Because if they did, would they be tearing everything else down or would they be trying to build everything else up?”
Ah, yes. The Bears, who are without a first-round pick and have millions upon millions of dollars committed to players like the falling Eddie Jackson, and aging Trevathan, Hicks and a pair of pass rushers over the age of 30 — this team should have done none of the things Poles has done if they truly believed in Fields.
Poles should not have acquired picks for a pass rusher who hasn’t posted double-digit sacks since 2018 and missed half of last year. He shouldn’t have shed salary so that the Bears will be over $100 million in cap space for 2023. He should have kept a guy like Hicks, who cannot play a full season for the life of him.
If you think the #Bears aren’t committed to Justin Fields, aren’t building around Justin Fields, or don’t believe in Justin Fields, then you don’t know anything about the #Bears. And that’s fine. But let’s let the writers, insiders, and bloggers who do, cover the team.
— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerezNFL) April 15, 2022
It might be difficult for some to understand right now, but Poles is doing this the right way. He is going to evaluate some of the core pieces of this roster in 2022, while adding short-term contracts to see whether some guys can prove they belong on the roster, all while playing the compensatory pick game.
We haven’t even gotten to the draft yet, but sure, let’s panic. Let’s call Poles a failure and assume he doesn’t believe in a quarterback who’s physically stacked, runs a 4.39 and came out of college as the most accurate thrower past the chains that Pro Football Focus has ever graded.
That makes complete sense. Oh, for good measure, here’s another hilarious idea.
Justin Fields is in an impossible situation: expected to step his game up while the team around him is torn down. @ConorOrr wonders if we’d be better off with an NFL transfer portal https://t.co/Up4UtkePtv
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) April 15, 2022
Here’s the deal, folks. Great quarterbacks will develop with or without elite talent around them. Great quarterbacks will develop because: A) They are set up in the correct system with the right coaching and scheming, B) They have “it.”
That’s it. Everything else is only going to further the cause. But, for now, Fields is in a scheme that he is understanding well and will be groomed to his strengths.
Let’s let the draft take place and Fields’ second year play out before we start making these ridiculous, slanderous hot takes.
And, to echo Bryan Perez in the above tweet, how about we let those who study the team and know the team best — those people, yeah, those people — cover the Bears. Everyone else can keep quiet, or risk looking absolutely foolish.