2. Matt Eberflus and coaching changes
Matt Eberflus has become a weekly staple on our coaching hot seat column. The Bears' inability to execute on either side of the line of scrimmage can be directly tied to poor coaching. Fields called out his coaches earlier in the season, so we aren't the only ones placing blame here.
"It could be coaching, I think. But at the end of the day, they're doing their job when they're giving me what to look at and stuff like that, but at the end of the day I can't be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week and then when the game comes, it's time to play free at that point. Thinking less and playing more."
Fields later tried to walk back his comments, but it's generally smart to put stock in a player's honest, unfiltered thoughts — not his PR damage control hours later. Fields is not blameless, but he clearly believes in his preparation and talent. It's not difficult to understand his frustration watching the Bears week to week either. Time and time again, Fields looks misused or plain hung out to dry.
Plus, it's not hard to pin Fields' own shortcomings on the coaches who are supposed to shape him. If your young QB struggles to process the defense and make quick decisions, that's on both the QB and the folks paid to teach him. If the offensive line constantly collapses, if the run game can't support Fields, if the WRs are seldom open, that's on the coaching staff. Not the QB.
Maybe Fields doesn't have the juice. Maybe he's too inconsistent, too combustable to build a reliable NFL offense around. It's hard to say because we haven't seen him with the same coaching staff and a decent collection of teammates for long enough. Before the Eberflus mess, it was Matt Nagy. An offensive coach, which is a start, but a chronically unsuccessful one — and, crucially, one the Bears gave up on.
It's easy to say the Bears should fire Eberflus, but by that same token, Fields would benefit from growing stably over time with the same coaching staff. It's a pickle.