More Tough Times Reported for Former Bears Starting QB

Pittsburgh reports say Justin Fields experienced accuracy issues in OTAs and minicamp with the Steelers, a problem he had in Chicago at times.
Justin Fields' throwing in Pittsburgh at minicamp and OTAs reportedly was less impressive than in this game the Bears played there in 2021.
Justin Fields' throwing in Pittsburgh at minicamp and OTAs reportedly was less impressive than in this game the Bears played there in 2021. / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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Recent reports from Pittsburgh on how former Bears starting QB Justin Fields is faring with his new team seem to reflect the pattern shown in Chicago.

To put it mildly, maybe the initial misperception about how Fields might be allowed to be a return man actually might not be a bad idea if he wants to contribute.

Whatever happens, Bears fans will be able to keep close tabs on it because it's been announced after HBO's Hard Knocks cameras leave Halas Hall they're headed to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore for the first in-season look at a full division on "HBO's Hard Knocks: In-Season with the AFC North."

What they could see of Fields in Pittsburgh apparently isn't good from a passing standpoint, according to Steelers Insider Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Fittipaldo said Fields was inconsistent as a passer during OTAs and minicamp.

"Fields, from what I've seen, they had a month of spring practices and he's a terrific athlete, but really the knocks against him that I heard coming in actually turned out to be true," Fittipaldo said, according to a story by Jacob Puinturi of OnSI's All Steelers. "He's not terribly accurate with the ball. His placement isn't all the great, and I could see them maybe having a package or two for him each week depending on the opponent, but I see this team as Russell Wilson's team."

A package for him at least would get him on the field, somewhat like what he did for the Bears as a rookie for one game until Andy Dalton suffered a knee injury. It would be better than returning kicks or punts, which was the false rumor being spread about him.

Fields is the backup to Russell Wilson and as long as the 35-year-old passer isn't struggling, there's probably little way Fields is getting on the field short of an injury. Fields' contract expires after this season.

Accuracy was always a problem for Fields, as his 60.3% career completion percentage indicates. His best was 61.4% last year.

The Steelers had a more accurate QB in terms of completion percentage when they had former Bears starter Mitchell Trubisky as the backup. Trubisky averaged 64.1% for the Steelers in 12 games and seven starts the last two years. That's also his career completion percentage, although he is lower in terms of yards per pass attempt than Fields (6.9 to 6.7) and isn't the explosive running threat.

Trubisky is back with Buffalo this year.

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Gene Chamberlain

GENE CHAMBERLAIN

BearDigest.com publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Chicago Bears full time as a beat writer since 1994 and prior to this on a part-time basis for 10 years. He covered the Bears as a beat writer for Suburban Chicago Newspapers, the Daily Southtown, Copley News Service and has been a contributor for the Daily Herald, the Associated Press, Bear Report, CBS Sports.com and The Sporting News. He also has worked a prep sports writer for Tribune Newspapers and Sun-Times newspapers.