The past few years have been a big struggle for the Georgia Bulldogs football team. The Bulldogs are coming off their second losing season in the past three years, and the team hasn’t won more than 8 games in a season since 2012, when they made it all the way to the National Championship game before eventually being defeated by Alabama. The team is currently being led by first year head coach Josh Gattis, who came over from the Michigan Wolverines. On the recruiting trail, the Bulldogs have had a fair amount of success, landing recent commits from 4-star cornerbacks Jaden Davis and Verone McKinley III, and 4-star athlete Quay Walker.

In America, there are two big sports that carry some of the biggest stigmas. Those two sports are American Football and Baseball. Even though Football gets more attention for being a dangerous sport, Baseball is not without its dangers. Why are there stigmas in American Football and Baseball? Are the stigmas accurate? Justin Fields may be able to break those stigmas. Also I am pretty sure I just stole the picture from Google Images.  My first day of class was Tuesday, the 8th, and I was pretty well unprepared. I’d been so caught up in the whirlwind of the first week that I didn’t even think about what was going on the following week. Once I finally did, I began to panic

Justin Fields talks to ESPN about the second season of the Netflix series Fringe.

The above excerpt is from an interview with ESPN about the Netflix series Beyond the Lights. This 30 second video can tell you a lot about Justin Fields. First, as Bears fans noticed on game day, Fields is very quiet. He’s a 17-year-old kid in a Netflix series being interviewed by ESPN, and he doesn’t seem to care at all. Justin Fields is not as built as the high school students who were stuffed to the waist because they had to give a speech in front of the class.

Justin Fields also shows understanding and maturity in interviews. He says it’s the same at school, but in a different way because he draws attention to himself. What struck me the most was the quote from Fields.

I mean, I really feel everyone’s love. A lot of people already know who I am, so it’s a great feeling, but it’s also a burden because they have expectations of you and you have to meet those expectations.

– Justin Fields.

This quote can be applied to the University of Georgia, but also to a program like Ohio State. I find it funny that the transfer is considered such a blow to the prospects. Not all prospective students change institutions because they cannot find entry-level jobs. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what a player needs. Sometimes coaches and recruiters don’t get it right. Looking back, it’s clear that Georgia made the wrong decision in bringing Jake Fromm to the team and letting Justin Fields go. I think it’s safe to assume Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears are happy with his transfer decision.

Justin Fields, picked 11th by the Chicago Bears, gives him a unique opportunity to break two of the biggest stigmas in sports. First, Ohio State can’t produce NFL quarterbacks, and second, the Chicago Bears can’t find a franchise quarterback.

Photo: Joe Majorana-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start with the Ohio side. It’s fair to say that Ohio State’s quarterbacks have not been impressive, especially lately. The best quarterbacks to come out of Ohio State in the last 20 years are Craig Krenzel, Terrell Pryor, Dwayne Haskins, J.T. Barrett and Troy Smith. Terrell Pryor was drafted as a wide receiver and has started only a few times as a quarterback in his career. Bears fans know that Craig Krenzel’s career has been a fart in the wind. Troy Smith played four games as quarterback, then came Dwayne Haskins. I understand the OSU quarterback story, but please don’t be the person who says that.

Ohio State still has a team that qualifies for the national championship. None of their quarterbacks make it to the NFL. They still have the best line, the best receivers, the best running game, the best defense and the best coaches. I could be the quarterback of a Buckeye team and make the playoffs.

Average Bears or Badgers fan.

While I understand these hollow arguments against all Ohio State quarterbacks, I ask you to ignore them. From a statistical standpoint, the above quarterbacks are no match for Justin Fields.

Players CMP ATT % YDS AY/A TD/INT RAT RSH YDS TD
Justin Fields. 396 579 68.4 5373 10.8 63/9 179.1 218 867 15
Dwayne Haskins. 413 590 70.0 4831 10.3 50/8 174.0 103 194 4
Terrell Pryor. 477 783 60.9 6177 7.9 57/26 144.6 436 2164 17
Troy Smith 420 670 63.7 5720 9.3 54/13 157.1 293 1168 14
Craig Krenzel 328 577 56.8 4489 7.1 28/21 130.9 247 600 6

Career development at OSU

I’d add J.T. Barrett on the roster, but he’s never played in the NFL and his career stats are inflated. Justin Fields has the highest QB rating, best touchdown to interception ratio, and most air yards per attempt. The only major career measure in which Justin Fields is not in first place is completion percentage, in which he is ahead of Dwayne Haskins.

Terrell Pryor can be fast, and he and Troy Smith can get more yards on the ground, but neither can match Fields as a pocket passer. Dwayne Haskins had some success as a pass rusher at OSU, but he doesn’t have the athletic ability of Justin Fields, he’s not even as athletic as Craig Krenzel. In short, the statistics clearly show that Justin Fields is the most athletic and efficient quarterback OSU has seen in the last 20 years, if ever.

Another standout feature that sets Justin Fields apart is that he can make every throw required of an NFL prospect. Dwayne Haskins came closest to Fields in terms of arm talent, but even he couldn’t match him. Haskins was never asked to make the throws that Fields usually makes.

Justin Fields’ 2020 performance against Nebraska was phenomenal. In one game, Justin Fields tested all the parameters a first-round quarterback should have. The five clips above show skills that can be used in the NFL. The first set is 4 and 5. Justin Fields recognizes the flash and sees the man covering him. He knows the midfielder has no chance of covering the slot. Once the receiver crosses the face of center field, Fields throws a perfect ball.

Justin Fields also has incredible accuracy beyond the line and throws from the snap with special anticipation. The second clip is more of a normal match for Justin Fields at this point in his career. In every Ohio State game you watch, you’ll see Justin Fields throw a 25-yard rocket to a receiver on the run outside the bounds. The next game is the usual scrum. The defense is crumbling. Defensive linemen pile on Justin Fields, but he still escapes and finishes his run by pushing the pile a few yards.

The last two moves produce different results, but are equally accurate. The best part of Justin Fields’ game is the accuracy of his deep balls. Justin Fields understands ball placement and knows how to manipulate the velocity of his throws. That’s what Mitchell Trubisky was missing, and why it might be different with Justin Fields with the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky wasn’t as bad as people say, but he threw everything. It seemed like he was just throwing fastballs. Justin Fields has an instinctive ability to shoot or put something down. This is an elusive quality of Justin Fields that I’m not sure can be taught.

Photo: Sports Illustrated

Justin Fields is not a perfect candidate. He was careful with the ball in college, but in the NFL the windows are narrower and he’ll throw enough balls away from Jay Cutler to get noticed. Justin Fields was in the top 1% of the mental test and chose the second read more often than any quarterback in college football last year, but he’s still a freshman. It’s unrealistic to expect Justin Fields to come on board and read the entire field and work with the advanced scheme.

Matt Nagy needs to learn from the mistakes he made with Mitchell Trubisky. Justin Fields is a better pro candidate with more developed tools and fewer limitations than Mitchell Trubisky, but he still needs to be put in the best possible position.

In theory, Justin Fields and Matt Nagy should be working together. Matt Nagy wants to throw strikes on the field, and Justin Fields can do it. Matt Nagy’s offense never found a way to impose its will on the defense with Mitchell Trubisky. It seems that every time things started to get out of hand, Matt Nagy lost track. Many blame Mitchell Trubisky, but now Matt Nagy has his own quarterback.

There are no more excuses. Justin Fields is not expected to work for Matt Nagy’s team. Instead, Matt Nagy must develop Justin Fields’ offense. Justin Fields is deadly in play action, and that requires a commitment to the run game. The Bears have strengthened their offensive line at the expense of Teven Jenkins and have a stable number of running backs on their roster, so it looks like they are headed in that direction.

Justin Fields has what it takes to become the Chicago Bears’ first true quarterback in the modern era. The Chicago press is not for the faint of heart, and Justin Fields hasn’t had to deal with the media since he was a teenager. Ohio State did not have a quarterback prospect like Justin Fields. The Chicago Bears never bought a quarterback like Justin Fields. If Justin Fields’ NCAA success translates to the NFL, he will break two of the biggest stigmas in sports history.

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