The Chicago Bears are counting on Justin Fields to become the franchise quarterback they have so long been searching for, but it's going to be difficult for him to live up to expectations given the talent around him.
That was on full display during the opening drive of Thursday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Fields threw seven times on the one possession he played and seemingly had to run for his life on every drop back that wasn't a rollout. To his credit, he still led the Bears into scoring position before Cairo Santos capped the drive with a field goal.
Fields rolling out is a thing of beauty. <a href="https://twitter.com/justnfields?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@justnfields</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CHIvsSEA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CHIvsSEA</a> on ESPN<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/duqkxIEtbt">https://t.co/duqkxIEtbt</a> <a href="https://t.co/TnYSsrMuJv">pic.twitter.com/TnYSsrMuJv</a>
A rollout 19-yard pass to tight end Cole Kmet was the most important play of the drive, but it was the offensive line problems for Chicago that caught the eye of plenty of viewers:
The most important thing for the Bears this season is Fields' ability to make strides in his second year. After all, this roster is far from a Super Bowl contender, and his long-term ceiling is something of a light at the end of the tunnel for a team that could finish in last place in the NFC North.
Yet making those necessary strides will be all the more difficult if he never has enough time to throw and read opposing defenses.
The offensive line will look to improve ahead of Chicago's preseason finale at the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 27. The Seahawks finish their preseason on the road as well and face the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 26.