Justin Fields hasn't had the early-season results he anticipated, same with the Chicago Bears. Adding D.J. Moore was supposed to help Fields evolve as a passer, along with another year in Luke Getsy's system.
Instead Fields has regressed and the Bears are 0-2. Why is Fields struggling? He may have an answer, but probably not what the Bears want to hear.
"You know, could be coaching I think," Fields said to reporters on Wednesday. "At the end of their day, they are doing their job when they are giving me what to look at, 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."
Later on Wednesday, Fields clarified his remarks and said he wasn't blaming the coaches. "I'm not blaming anything on the coaches. I'm never going to blame anything on coaches, never going to blame anything on my teammates. I will take every -- whatever happens in a game -- I will take all the blame. I don't care if it's a dropped pass and it should have been a pass. Put it on me."
Fields was asked if there were too many coaching voices in his head telling him what to do, implying there's too may people working with him over the course of a game.
"I don't think it's too many. It's just that when you're fed a lot of information at a point and time and when you're trying to think about that info when you're playing, it doesn't let you play like yourself," Fields said. "You're trying to process so much information to where it's like, you know, if I just simplify my mind. ... I think the biggest thing for me is playing the game like I know how to play. Like I've been playing it my whole life."
Fields has an average pass length of 4.5 -- the shortest in the NFL (was 9.1 last season) -- despite having 3.2 seconds to throw (third longest in NFL). Fields has the fourth shortest average pass length through Week 2 since 2006. He's thrown just 12 passes of 10-plus air yards (two touchdowns, two interceptions) and no passes of 25-plus air yards.
To make matters worse for Fields, it doesn't help that starting left tackle Braxton Jones was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a neck injury. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said they don't have a timetable on that right now, so the Bears are unsure if he'll be back at all in 2023.
To say Fields has been off through two games is an understatement. Fields vows to change that this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"I feel like I was playing robotic, not playing like myself," Fields said. "My goal this week is just to say 'F it.' Play football like I know how to play football. That includes thinking less and going out there and playing with instincts rather than just, say, info in my head.
"That's when I play my best, when I'm out there playing free. I'm going to go out there and be me."