Is it time to bench Justin Fields? Former Bears OC weighs in

Is it time to bench Justin Fields? Former Bears OC weighs in originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bears are 0-3 on the season and optimism is rapidly dwindling among their fan base, but could they consider something so desperate as benching quarterback Justin Fields?

If former Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz had anything to say about it, that’s exactly what the team would do.

“This whole situation with him demoralized his team. If they don’t make a change, I think it’s just going to get worse – if that’s possible for this to get worse,” Martz said in an interview with The 33rd Team. “It’s a demoralized football team that’s heading down.”

Fields completed 11 passes on Sunday for 99 yards, and rushed for 47 yards on 11 attempts in a 41-10 loss to the Chiefs.

On the season, he has completed 58% of his passes for 526 yards, with three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Martz says that Fields is putting a lot of pressure on himself to prove he belongs under center, but expressed skepticism that he can do so.

“He’s trying to prove that he can play quarterback in this league, but that’s probably not the case,” Martz said.

The remarks follow a Sunday report from Fox’s Jay Glazer that the Bears could explore other options in the offseason if Fields doesn’t begin to make more progress.

“They were hoping that he would start pulling (the ball) down a lot faster and starting running and using more of a dual-threat as well,” he said. “Remember, they have two first-round picks for next year’s draft, so they have the ammo if he isn’t the answer.”

As things stand, the Bears would own the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in 2024, according to Tankathon, and would also own the No. 4 pick courtesy of the still-winless Carolina Panthers. USC quarterback and 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is the most-likely player to be selected with that top pick, with North Carolina’s Drake Maye also in the conversation.

The Bears will have to decide after the season whether to pick up the fifth-year option on Fields’ rookie deal. They decided not to do so with former quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s contract following the 2019 season, allowing him to become a free agent after four years with the team.

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