Week 3 of the preseason saw the Chicago Bears starting offense led by Justin Fields put up a tremendous effort en route to a 21-20 victory. The game was not as close as the final score would indicate as Fields was masterful while connecting on three passing scores to three different receivers.
It answered one of our biggest questions heading into the game of whether or not the second-year passer was truly ready.
We had seen little to that point – Saturday’s trio were his first touchdowns of the preseason.
But most were just waiting to see it, not wondering whether or not Fields was capable of doing so. Others, such as former Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz or ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, have been less bullish on the quarterback. Now the latter is catching grief over it.
Super Bowl Champ Andrew Whitworth Claps Back Over Bears QB Justin Fields
Twitter Comes for Dan Orlovsky
Orlovsky took to Twitter after the Bears finished an undefeated preseason. His goal was to show how much he enjoyed seeing Fields operate at a high level both in his decision-making and his execution.
The play in question was Fields’ 24-yard score to tight end Cole Kmet who was wide open in the endzone.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) August 28, 2022
While the breakdown was very complimentary of Fields and his progress made in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s scheme, the internet never forgets. Orlovsky’s video was preceded by a resounding “this you?” from Bears fans on Twitter as some brought his credentials into question.
He tried to defend himself saying he “never said Fields was anything close to bad”.
But it was for naught as 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year and Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth also chimed in to remind Orlovsky of how we got here.
Did you insinuate? Asking for a friend…
— Andrew Whitworth (@AndrewWhitworth) August 28, 2022
The former Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has yet to respond directly.
Orlovsky’s History with Fields
Orlovsky has been one of the more vocal figures in his criticism. It is often framed in the context of those around him not being talented enough to help Fields succeed. He infamously put Fields in “Tier 9” in terms of second-year passers set up for success. That was seven spots below his other options in the tweet he sent out.
Perhaps Orlovsky was justified in doubting the talent around Fields at a time when most were even if he took it a step beyond in voicing his concerns.
“If Justin Fields plays really well this year he will be in the MVP conversation.”@danorlovsky7 has high hopes for Fields, but isn’t certain he has the tools to reach them. #KJM pic.twitter.com/o7z2VrTqiD
— Keyshawn, JWill & Max (@KeyJayandMax) May 9, 2022
But his pre-draft assault on Fields’ work ethic puts everything in a different light. Orlovsky cited a conversation he supposedly had with Fields’ head coach at Ohio State, Ryan Day in casting aspersions over the quarterback’s habits.
He tried to clear that up but ended up just saying that he is sharing other people’s opinions.
I love a good @danorlovsky7 roast sesh as much as anybody BUT..
I think folks are missing that he was answering my question about “Why the narrative has changed about Fields so much?”
He very assertively said “These are not my opinions”
He then went on to give a potential why pic.twitter.com/Wud0ve4tcI
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 31, 2021
Orlovsky also said that he regretted not having more clarity in his words and that he reached out to Day and Fields after catching heat.
Bears QB Justin Fields Praised
Fields has drawn praise from Day 1 for his work ethic. Even in the tumult that was his rookie season under Matt Nagy, the issue was the coach not giving the player an opportunity until it was too late. The new regime has been extremely vocal in their praise for how he has handled everything.
Teammates have spoken of how they can see the difference in Fields’ confidence and his command of the offense.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 28, 2022
His work ethic – coming in early, staying after to work on flaws, and getting together with teammates outside of practice – has been a topic of discussion in a positive light throughout training camp.
It can be tough for the national media to keep up with local details such as those.
But, if one is going to take such a hardline stance on one player –publicly and loudly – they have to be prepared for the potential backlash when their opinions change so starkly.
That is Orlovsky’s prerogative especially as he obtains new information. But some of this information has been out there. And the things that he has chosen to run with will not be so easily forgotten. Not simply because he has now changed his tune.