(670 The Score) The new Bears front office’s effort to evaluate second-year quarterback Justin Fields is being done in bad faith, 670 host Laurence Holmes argued on his show Thursday afternoon.
Holmes called it “malpractice” for the Bears to surround Fields with such poor talent and for their failure to make adjustments recently on the offensive line. Notably, it would make more sense for the Bears to use Lucas Patrick at center instead of Sam Mustipher, given that Patrick has previous experience playing in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system, Holmes said.
Mustipher is rated as the 22nd-best center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. He has started all six games. That was by necessity initially as Patrick was dealing with an injury to his snapping hand. Fields has been sacked an NFL-high 23 times, a problem for which “everybody” is to blame, coach Matt Eberflus said earlier this week.
“Lucas Patrick should be playing center for a very important reason,” Holmes said. “He has been in the system that Luke Getsy runs, and who has the most power on protection outside of the quarterback? The center. That should be a relationship that you’re fostering, but you’re not. You’re playing Sam Mustipher here, who probably isn’t going to be on your team whenever your team is great. You’re putting that young man in danger, and you might have to chase bad decisions with money or draft picks because you were unwilling to treat him like he’s your guy. If the Bears were to draft, next year, Bryce Young out of Alabama, there’s no way in hell Ryan Poles would put him behind this type of line. And that doesn’t mean that you have to sell out for a season where you don’t think you have a chance to win a Super Bowl. But it does mean that you can take an approach that will give you a better job of figuring out the diagnostic.
“That’s what I’m starting to get angrier and angrier about. I know that Fields is flawed, but trying to figure out if he’s flawed because he’s flawed versus he’s flawed because he’s got no damn help is really difficult. I just don’t trust them. I don’t trust them, and I don’t like how some of this stuff has gone. And we do know that Ryan Poles is very much, ‘I want my guys in here.’ Whether we’re talking out Soup Campbell or someone else, that we do know that he has gone to lengths to try to make it so that he’s the one that’s hand-picking everything that goes on inside the organization. And that’s his job. All I’m saying is if it blinds you to what you have in front of you, if you’re not putting in the necessary resources to make a good evaluation, you’re not doing good business.”
Fields, 23, has completed 54.8% of his passes for 869 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. The Bears rank 28th in total offense and 31st in scoring offense this season.