Most NFL coaches think Justin Fields will improve with a new coaching staff in place.
That said, there remain concerns about whether he can become a true franchise-level quarterback.
“I do think his anticipation in the dropback game needs to improve, but he does throw a really good deep ball and deep cross route where some of those other guys, I did not have that feel in the dropback game of, ‘Can they make certain throws as consistently?’" a coach told Mike Sando of The Athletic. “It is everything else he has to figure out. I don’t think he is going to be a top-shelf guy this year, but you are going to trend. You are going to say, ‘We can win with this guy.’ I don’t think he is ever going to be a 1. I think he can climb to maybe a 2, high Tier 3.”
For reference, here is how Sando (and the coaches) define a Tier 1 quarterback: "A Tier 1 quarterback can carry his team each week. The team wins because of him. He expertly handles pure passing situations. He has no real holes in his game."
Fields is coming off a largely miserable rookie season that saw him struggle amid an ill-fitting scheme and a lack of supporting cast. The Ohio State product threw for 1,870 yards and seven touchdowns against 10 interceptions while adding 420 yards and two scores on the ground. His 26.4 QBR ranked 31st among qualifying quarterbacks.
The Bears organization underwent a seismic overhaul this offseason, with Ryan Poles taking over as general manager and Matt Eberflus as head coach. Eberflus brought in former Packers assistant Luke Getsy as offensive coordinator and former Vikings assistant Andrew Janocko as quarterbacks coach.
Both Getsy and Janocko have experience coaching multiple offensive positions during their NFL careers, which should help the defensive-minded Eberflus focus on his preferred side of the ball.
However, it'll be the offensive staff's work with Fields that determines whether the partnership is fruitful. Former Bears coach Matt Nagy too often tried to fit Fields into a box of what his system wanted from a quarterback rather than working to accentuate the young signal-caller's skills. If Getsy and Janocko focus on building an offense around Fields' rushing ability and smarts, then they should find far more success.