Dan Campbell: There’s no easy answer to playing Justin Fields

Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears
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The Lions are taking on the Bears for the first of two times this season on Sunday.

Head coach Dan Campbell and company have faced quarterback Justin Fields before — but not when he’s been playing like this.

Despite losing to the Dolphins in Week Nine, Fields was the NFC offensive player of the week after he completed 17-of-28 passes for 123 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for 178 yards and a TD.

Since coming back from the mini-bye after a Thursday night loss to the Commanders, the Bears are 2-1. Fields has completed 65 percent of his throws for 453 yards with six touchdowns and an interception. He’s rushed for 320 yards and three TDs, averaging 8.7 yards per carry.

“I feel like you’re watching a little bit of Deshaun Watson in Houston, you’re watching Lamar Jackson, Baltimore. There’s a little bit of Jalen Hurts — just very quarterback driven,” Campbell said in his Wednesday press conference. “Quarterback-driven runs, guard/tackle pulls, read the end, hand it off, these backs are running hard, they’re downhill. And then, there’s enough of the keepers off of it. There’s enough misdirection to the receivers.

“And then, certainly his ability on third down, that’s where they really got Miami was man, there’s a number of third-and-8, third-and-10, third-and — there’s an opening in there and he takes it and he’s gone. And one of them for 60-something yards. So, that’s where he’s very lethal, but it’s very much built around him. So, I think the starting point is obviously 32 [David Montgomery] and 24 [Khalil Herbert]. But then, it’s him because he’s very dangerous.”

So how can the Lions counter that?

“I think you’ve got to use a little bit of everything,” Campbell said. “Really, I think there’s a place to spy, I think there’s a place to pressure, I think there’s a place to really play more coverage and keep everything in front of you and then rally to it. So, I think it’s all-encompassing and a lot of that’ll have to do with third down which will come tonight, tomorrow.

“But I think there’s no easy answer to playing this guy because you see it all over the tape week after week. But it’s certainly something that we’re preaching and it’s the cast the net, close the net.”

The Lions still have the league’s worst defense in yards allowed and points allowed. But after holding the Packers to just nine points last week, we’ll see if Detroit has turned a corner with its performance in Chicago.

18 responses to “Dan Campbell: There’s no easy answer to playing Justin Fields

  1. Can’t believe the Bears finally have a franchise QB and soon to be superstar. Still boggles the mind how he fell in the 2021 draft.

  2. Fields is the Lamar Jackson of Chicago – he’s a RB disguised as a QB and like Jackson put up HUGE numbers against an awful Miami Defense and STILL lost!

  3. Fields was a pocket passer in college who ran far less than he is now, what he’s doing now is necessary given the state of the Bears line and WRs. He can improve as a passer like most 2nd year players, but he makes plays from the pocket, look at that TD pass to Mooney last week. It’s a false narrative that he’s not a QB, that’s something said by people looking at stat lines and not watching the games.

  4. “It’s a false narrative that he’s not a QB, that’s something said by people looking at stat lines and not watching the games.”

    Looking at the stat lines and watching the games still show that his running ability is what’s leading to his current ‘success.’ He’s had exactly one game with over 200 passing yards, has a completion percentage under 59%, but has almost 180 more rushing yards and twice as many rushing TDs than last season with three fewer games played (10 started last year versus 9 this one).
    He’s played better than his awful rookie season, but to think that the Bears have finally found their franchise quarterback is absurdly presumptive. He still often looks lost out there, takes way too many sacks, fumbles at an ungodly rate, and remains inconsistent with his throws.
    Lamar Jackson was the league MVP in his second season, with a godly stat line that included 3100 passing yard 36TDs/9INTs, 1200 rushing yards + 7TDs, and a 66% completion percentage. And people still question whether he’s a true franchise QB.
    Fields isn’t close to achieving any of that this season, so thinking that other teams made a mistake on passing him continues to be unproven and speculative.

  5. peteywheatstraw says:
    November 10, 2022 at 10:11 am
    Make him beat you from the pocket…pretty easy answer.
    ————————
    This!

    Actually Dan it is pretty easy. Make him throw the ball. For every pass he completes there’s an equal chance he won’t. Jump out to an early lead and it should be smooth sailing.

  6. The game plan from Monday night by the Saints (even in the loss) would be enough to contain Fields.

  7. it’s amazing how people think he’s supposed to put up crazy passing stats with zero pass protection and a lack of big time separators on the outside. and because of that he gets labeled as a running back.

    you will see next year, after the Bears spend on 9 million linemen (on both sides) that Justin is a passer that runs (Josh Allen), not a runner who throws (Lamar, Hurts etc). then the air numbers will follow.

  8. “Looking at the stat lines and watching the games still show that his running ability is what’s leading to his current ‘success.’ He’s had exactly one game with over 200 passing yards, has a completion percentage under 59%, but has almost 180 more rushing yards and twice as many rushing TDs than last season with three fewer games played (10 started last year versus 9 this one).
    He’s played better than his awful rookie season, but to think that the Bears have finally found their franchise quarterback is absurdly presumptive. He still often looks lost out there, takes way too many sacks, fumbles at an ungodly rate, and remains inconsistent with his throws.
    Lamar Jackson was the league MVP in his second season, with a godly stat line that included 3100 passing yard 36TDs/9INTs, 1200 rushing yards + 7TDs, and a 66% completion percentage. And people still question whether he’s a true franchise QB.
    Fields isn’t close to achieving any of that this season, so thinking that other teams made a mistake on passing him continues to be unproven and speculative.”

    Further proving my point that people that are criticizing Fields aren’t watching the games, or maybe not the past 3 where the Fields led offense is scoring over 30 points a game. He’s looked plenty decisive and is making quicker decisions. His turnovers and fumbles have dropped dramatically. His statistics and performance were terrible early on and now it’s widely acknowledged that the Bears coaching staff misused him and now that an offense is built on his strength he’s flourishing. You’re not going to get top end passing performance from him when passes are clanking off of St Brown’s hand at the end of games, or the end of the Commanders game where 2 straight TD passes were dropped. But his performances the past 3 games have been tremendous considering his poor surrounding cast and you’d know that if you actually watched the games.

  9. All you critics are completely missing the point that I think shutdownmob is trying to make – his O-line stinks in pass protection so he has move just to survive. Hopefully that is not permanent but only time will tell. They tried making him pass from the pocket and he gets killed. No realistic Bears fan is saying he is a franchise QB yet, it is too early to say that but it is also unfair to say he is a bust. Don’t care what he did at Ohio State, nobody plays NFL caliber team in college. I know what I saw against Miami, that TD throw he made to Mooney was a beauty. Mahomes or Allen make that same throw and they’re among the greatest ever. Fields does it and all you clowns can do is criticize him for running. He needs to improve his passing game to succeed at this level, no doubt, but let’s wait until they have a decent O-line in place before we make that judgement.

  10. grizzly says:
    November 10, 2022 at 12:24 pm
    All you critics are completely missing the point that I think shutdownmob is trying to make – his O-line stinks in pass protection so he has move just to survive. Hopefully that is not permanent but only time will tell. They tried making him pass from the pocket and he gets killed. No realistic Bears fan is saying he is a franchise QB yet, it is too early to say that but it is also unfair to say he is a bust. Don’t care what he did at Ohio State, nobody plays NFL caliber team in college. I know what I saw against Miami, that TD throw he made to Mooney was a beauty. Mahomes or Allen make that same throw and they’re among the greatest ever. Fields does it and all you clowns can do is criticize him for running. He needs to improve his passing game to succeed at this level, no doubt, but let’s wait until they have a decent O-line in place before we make that judgement.

    Mo doubt. Which makes this comment all the more perplexing …

    chickensalad43 says:
    November 10, 2022 at 9:59 am
    Can’t believe the Bears finally have a franchise QB and soon to be superstar. Still boggles the mind how he fell in the 2021 draft.

  11. Further proving my point that people that are criticizing Fields aren’t watching the games, or maybe not the past 3 where the Fields led offense is scoring over 30 points a game. He’s looked plenty decisive and is making quicker decisions. His turnovers and fumbles have dropped dramatically. His statistics and performance were terrible early on and now it’s widely acknowledged that the Bears coaching staff misused him and now that an offense is built on his strength he’s flourishing. You’re not going to get top end passing performance from him when passes are clanking off of St Brown’s hand at the end of games, or the end of the Commanders game where 2 straight TD passes were dropped. But his performances the past 3 games have been tremendous considering his poor surrounding cast and you’d know that if you actually watched the games.

    He’s thrown 6 picks this year in 9 games versus 10 last season, and his interception percentage has gone from 3.7% to 3.2 (which 32nd spot in the league ahead of only Mac Jones and Kenny Pickett, but he at least he moved out of last place which is where he was in 2021).
    Fumbled the ball 12 times last year and has 11 this season.
    In no way can that be considered a dramatic drop.
    And yes, the Bears have built the offence around his strengths, namely his running ability, which is the only area that has ‘dramatically’ improved from last season. He’s still an erratic passer, holds onto to the ball too long, and his numbers from game to game display that inconsistency. The odd throw that’s picture perfect doesn’t change that. And having watched too many minutes of bad Bears football, even during his recent excellent fantasy football stretch, doesn’t change that impression of him. What Chicago has at least figured out is that the offence is better when he’s more decisive about when to run, with more being better.
    Grizzly is correct to say it’s unfair to say he’s a bust or that he’s a franchise QB. He simply looks much better than last year, which isn’t saying as much as some think since he was so awful last season.

  12. Now that the Bears OC has stopped trying to cram round pegs in square holes, I’m confident the Bears will put up 28-33 points on the Lions.
    Now that the Bears GM has traded away most every player on defense he could get an offer on, I’m confident they’ll surrender 35-50 points to every team they face. Full disclosure: I am a Bears fans.

  13. Everything you said Malcolm suggests you aren’t watching the games, but doing more picking and choosing of statistics given that’s mostly what you’re relying on. I’ve heard plenty about Fields improvement from NFL experts like Trent Dilfer, Matt Bowen,Tim Jenkins and many others that make me feel confident in my take on Fields over someone who thinks every game he’s playing like he played against the Texans.

  14. The Bears and Fields should put up some points, but I’m not sure the Bear’s bargain basement defense can stop the Lions from putting up more.
    Lions by 6. $100 will get you $235.

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