Former Ohio State quarterbacks Justin Fields and CJ Stroud are struggling in the early stages of the 2023 NFL season. Fields and the Chicago Bears have been massively disappointing through two weeks while the Houston Texans' second overall pick has been sacked 11 times.
Longtime NFL writer John McClain and Sean Pendergast of the Audacy original “Houtopia Football Podcast” debated whether Stroud or Fields is the better quarterback.
“Forreal or fugazi,” Pendergast asked (27:00 in player above). “CJ Stroud is the best Ohio State quarterback in the NFL right now?”
“Forreal,” McClain said. “I think if you ask anybody – fans of the Bears, people who cover the Bears, people at the Bears – they would say if you could have Stroud based on what you’ve seen so far or Justin Fields, they would take Stroud.”
It’s worth mentioning that while Joe Burrow is primarily remembered for his time at LSU, he was stuck behind J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State before transferring. For this exercise, it’s a Stroud vs. Fields debate.
“Fields is involved in a lot of controversy,” McClain continued. “The Bears are terrible. Right now they look like they could be one of the worst teams. They’ve got Carolina’s first pick. They’re going to be in the market for a new quarterback next year.”
McClain went as far as to say that Fields didn’t need to apologize for his comments about coaching earlier this week.
“He said what he said. People understood it,” said McClain. “Luke Getsy is making him think too much. They’re trying to keep him in the pocket. That’s like asking me to slip through a narrow opening in a door; if I can’t do it, I can’t do it. And he can’t do it. He’s not a pocket passer. They’ve taken away what he wants to do which is run.
“Sometimes you just got to let him play and you don’t bog him down. Right now he’s being bogged down and I’ll bet you that changes fast.”
Both Fields and Stroud face tough matchups this week with the Bears in Kansas City and the Texans in Jacksonville.