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Justin Fields' Role in GM and Coach Hunt

Justin Fields has importance in the search by Bears ownership for a new coach and GM but it's definitely not in an advisory capacity or even involvement within the selection process.

When the Houston Texans were considering coaching and GM candidates, quarterback Deshaun Watson became irritated.

This is when the trade rumors first began last offseason.

The Bears are in a similar situation this year but it's safe to say they're not going to Justin Fields and asking him his opinion on whether a coaching or GM candidate is satisfactory.

Asking a quarterback's opinion on a GM candidate is about as far-fetched as it gets, but it is reasonable to assume a quarterback might want input on a coach because of a particular playing style. In fact, Bears board chairman George McCaskey was quoting his new advisor Bill Polian on the particular importance of the quarterback/coach relationship.

"Our conversations with Bill Polian, he told us it's that relationship between the general manager and the head coach and the relationship between the head coach and the quarterback that will determine the success of your team," McCaskey said. "So we don't want somebody that's always agreeing with each other. We want vigorous debate, but at the end of the debate we want people breaking on the plan and united behind the vision."

This doesn't mean they want Fields telling them what coach to hire or even want his opinion. After all, Fields hasn't proven anything yet.

Rather, the goal for the Bears in the coaching hunt is finding a coach with a vision of how to build the offense around Fields.

"Well, I'm just a fan. I'm not a football evaluator," McCaskey said. "As a fan, what I see (in Fields) is a dynamic player with a lot of potential, a lot of ability, a lot of heart, and a strong work ethic.

"We are looking for a general manager and a head coach who can develop not just the quarterback position but the talent around him, establishing a strong defense to help the quarterback, to bring the Bears to success. Justin will not be an active part of the search process but we will be very interested to hear from both general manager and head coach candidates what their plan is to get the most out of the quarterback position for us."

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This might rank near the top of the questions they're asking candidates for both jobs, and particularly head coach.

"That'll be part of the challenge," McCaskey said. "With any general manager or head coaching candidate we want to know what their plan is for the most important position on the field, how they would utilize Justin, who they would have coaching him, what players would they surround him with.

"How are they gonna maximize his potential to lead the Bears to success?"

McCaskey wanted nothing to do with questions asking what their reaction to candidates would be if the answer from them was they didn't think much of Fields or want to work with him.

"Well I think I've said before I don't entertain hypotheticals," McCaskey said. "We're interested in hearing what the candidates have to say about the development of the entire football organization and especially the quarterback position.

"We want to know what their plan is to develop that position for us."

Fields finished his rookie season after Week 14 first due to an ankle injury and then COVID-19. He finished 28th in passer rating among all NFL passers with at least 270 throws with a 73.2. His 6.93 yards per attempt ranked 21st in the league among quarterbacks with at least 270 throws.

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