Ryan Pace: There’s no need to rush Justin Fields

NFL: AUG 21 Preseason - Bills at Bears
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Bears General Manager Ryan Pace is standing by the team’s decision not to start rookie quarterback Justin Fields.

Pace said today that the Bears are confident in their plan to make Andy Dalton the starting quarterback and have Fields learn from the sideline.

“There’s no need to rush Justin,” Pace said.

But there is one major reason that Pace and head coach Matt Nagy could change their minds: If the Bears aren’t winning games with Dalton at quarterback, Pace and Nagy will be on the hot seat. At that point, the one and only way for Pace and Nagy to save their jobs is to show Bears ownership that Fields is developing into a franchise quarterback. And Fields can’t show that unless he’s playing.

So while Pace and Nagy may not want to rush Fields right now, it’s easy to envision a scenario in which Dalton falters early in the season, and Pace and Nagy decide they’re in a rush to find out if Fields can save their season, and their jobs.

33 responses to “Ryan Pace: There’s no need to rush Justin Fields

  1. The Bears likely start out 1-3 in their first 4 games. Then Fields starts. Pace and company are likely toast.

  2. I think the biggest misconception in the NFL is that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are on the hot seat. They haven’t had a losing season since 2017 and are fresh off a playoff berth.

  3. Smart move. Keep that “you can’t fire us while we are developing a rookie QB” thing going and going.

  4. Let the OL get it figured out first. Let Dalton take the beating until then. I actually agree with Pace.

  5. If there is one thing Fields will never be it is a franchise QB. They know it, which is why Dalton is starting and Fields is riding the bench.

  6. If they start Fields they’ll be allowed some room for growing pains. If they start Dalton and the offense looks like it did under Trubisky and Foles before they turn to Fields, if he doesn’t set the league on fire the second he steps on the Field why should anyone believe Nagy is the guy that should be coaching him?

  7. Trouble is they mortgaged two 1sts, a 4th & 5th. And until Fields proves otherwise, Pace gotta deal with the long shadow of trading up for his failed Trubisky experiment.

  8. It’s not hard to gather from Nagy’s recent comments that Justin’s head’s not as far into playbook as he’d like.

    Smart not to throw the kid to the wolves just yet.

  9. You should play the guy who gives you the best chance win. Whenever Fields looks like that guy put him in.

  10. They are trying to do the right thing but like many owners they want to win now and continually screw themselves in the long run.

  11. I tend to think there’s a legit shot Dalton plays well into the season. What if Pace and Nagy already have a handshake agreement with ownership that they’re safe through next season? If they falter this year, they’re not allowed to trade additional future picks in next year’s draft. Imagine Fields starts in 2022, looks competent but the rest of the team has some holes and they still can’t make the playoffs. That would signify failure of Pace and Nagy but would also lay the foundation of a somewhat desirable franchise for the next GM and coach. If they’re on the hot seat now and they force Fields into action and he underwhelms, what GM and coaching candidates are going to want to inherit this dumpster fire with no 2022 1st round pick?

    Keeping Fields in bubble wrap may make the most sense for both ownership and job security of GM and coach. Not what people want to hear and I do think Fields gives them the best chance to win, but wouldn’t shock me at all to see Dalton limp his way through a 5-12 season.

  12. Fields looked overwhelmed at times in the preseason, seeing Aaron Donald coming at him isn’t going to fix that. Dalton isn’t Mahomes, but he isn’t Trubisky either. They went to the playoffs with the worst QB in the league, they should be able to get back with an average QB and let their future QB learn

  13. He’s struggling with the playback and needs more time. It was apparent he doesn’t have things down yet.

  14. Ryan Pace claims there’s no rush to start Fields.
    Pace has created the oldest roster in the league, a bottom of the bunch secondary, and has never drafted and constructed a quality offensive line. The Bears O line is one of the worst. Maybe there’s no rush on Fields, but there should be a rush to show Pace the door.

  15. Pace and Nagy are cutting off there nose despite their faces. It would’ve been wise not to promise Andy Dalton the starting job. He wasn’t with the Bears in 2020/21, so they owed him nothing. Dak Prescott set NFL records with the same broken down offensive line that Dalton inherited after the former’s injury.

    C.D. Lamb was on pace for 1,400+ yards, Amari Cooper over 1,200 and Michael Gallup over 1,100. Only Cooper went over a 1,000 yards. If Fields had received reps as QB1, he would’ve been more prepared to start in week 1. I believe That Fields will eventually be the starting QB and Pace and Nagy will take credit for it and receive praise.

  16. Oh, he’ll be rushing… rushing the ball when he gets to meet the Packers D-line and linebackers for the first time in week six. After pulling it down on his hot read, he’ll be just happy to get back to the line of scrimmage.

  17. Dalton must be a likable guy in that locker roomhmm. I sense a 1-3 start where they insert Fields kind of similar to how Miami did it last season. Only difference is Fitz actually played like a starter in Miami

  18. The Bears‘ bye is in week 10 and they‘ll probably let Dalton start until then and will decide during the bye week who will be their starter in the second half of the season. I don’t see the point in Fields getting killed by Aaron Donald in week 1 and think it‘s fair to give Dalton the revenge bowl against his Bengals in week 2 and the start against the Browns in week 3. They may reconsider if Dalton is terrible and goes 0-3 in those games, while Fields is tearing it up in practice as the scout team QB, because that would be a way to lose the team. The Lions game in week 4 may be the second best option to ease Fields into the starting role, but after the bye would be the best time. Maybe Dalton surprises everyone and keeps the Bears in contention, which would lead to a Mahomes scenario that Fields sits out the whole year and maybe gets a meaningless start or playing time in a game that doesn’t matter. Nagy was with the Chiefs when he came into the league, so that might be his plan and best case scenario. We‘ll see….

  19. Fields is only there to make the Bears more attractive when Nagy and Pace get fired after another 8-9 or worse season.

  20. This is just another reason why it made no sense to keep Nagy if you were going to draft a QB in the 1st round . He failed with Trubisky because he refused to adapt his offensive philosophy to fit his young QB and again it appears the same mistake is being made . The proof is the comment from Pace that Fields isn’t deep enough into the playbook to be a starter . Throw out the playbook that failed Trubisky and design a new offense that allows Fields to do what he does best . The fact that Nagy and Pace both believe that Dalton is the best QB is reason enough to fire both which mercifully for Bears fans will happen at the end of another frustrating season .

  21. If a team wants to think long-term, then there’s no reason to rush Fields. People act like him not being perfect in the preseason is a sign of something. He’s a rookie, give him a break. Dalton is capable, but it’s not like every offensive system is plug & play. Learning a whole new offense takes time. Brady did well in New England because he had 20 years with the offense.

  22. “I think the biggest misconception in the NFL is that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are on the hot seat. They haven’t had a losing season since 2017 and are fresh off a playoff berth.”

    But they were held without a TD in that playoff game and the playoff game prior to that saw them score only 15 points at home in a loss. Both QBs last year looked bad and if Dalton and Fields don’t reverse that trend this year it’s going to be tough to justify Nagy staying employed. When you’re an offense guy and the offense is consistently bad it’s tough to keep your job for long.

  23. Ryan Pace got roasted this morning on Chicago sports talk radio for his consistent and long-standing inability to tell the truth.

  24. DaBears have a brutal sched. I’d love to see him play, but at least wait a few games to see how that line really is, and give Dalton his chance.

    The argument that ‘it worked in KC’ is lame to me. Maybe it’ll work, but does anyone remember the Mike Martz led Bears? Cutler was getting creamed on most plays. Martz let’s Olson go and no there’s consistently legit targets. The last thing you would think is ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’.

    And they need to keep a damn coaching staff. You can’t change staff like they do too often.

  25. Ryan Pace isn’t a saint but Chicago Sports talk radio complaining about his inability to tell the truth is rich in itself….

  26. Anybody in the NFL can be fired, at any time. Just ask Doug Pederson after winning the Super Bowl 3 years later while throwing a game for a better draft pick while there’s no chance to make the playoffs….that being said, these comments & my general feeling on ownership giving Pace the green light to trade next year’s pick for Fields has basically reset his window of tenure w/ the Bears. Of course if Pace and Nagy have a three win season and the bus is flying off the mountain on fire via the locker room then sure, they’ll be handed pink slips. However if they develop Fields and all seems well enough during an 8-9 win season…they’ll be back in 2022.

  27. ghost says:
    September 2, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Ryan Pace isn’t a saint but Chicago Sports talk radio complaining about his inability to tell the truth is rich in itself….


    Yep! and you’re comparing Pace to the entire current administration.

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