One of the hallmarks of a great coach is their ability to convey confidence in players. In fact, that’s what drew me into sports coaching in the first place. However, there are times when this trust can be abused and athletes can lose faith in themselves-and it doesn’t end well for coaches either. One way teams have been able to combat this issue is by creating an environment where they feel safe enough to voice concerns without fear of retaliation or other repercussions from team leadership.
The “what happened to shawne merriman” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer is that he retired from the NFL after a series of injuries and some personal issues.
Highlights of the article:
- Merriman, Shawne, a former All-Pro linebacker, says the Chicago Bears should bench rookie quarterback Justin Fields.
- In a Week 7 defeat against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fields, the 11th overall choice in the NFL draft, had five total turnovers.
- If the Bears bench the rookie quarterback right now, they’re asking for problems.
It’s like saying Derrick Henry is a terrific running back if you think the Chicago Bears haven’t handled the Justin Fields issue effectively. Both remarks, although technically right (in the best sense), are gross exaggerations.
In his first two months in the NFL, Fields, the 11th overall choice in April’s draft, has battled with turnovers and a poor offensive line. Although he isn’t ready to label the Ohio State product a failure, former All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman is willing to make a risky judgment about the quarterback’s immediate future.
Justin Fields should be benched, according to Shawne Merriman of the Chicago Bears.
Should Justin Fields, the Chicago Bears’ rookie quarterback, be benched? Getty Images/David P. DeFelice
The Bears have labored through the early months of the Fields era like a kid going through the motions of eating veggies. We’re still perplexed as to why Bears coach Matt Nagy treats his young quarterback like cauliflower rather than meat.
Nagy has given the sense that he never wanted Fields to be his next quarterback, from refusing to allow him practice with the first unit during training camp to insisting on signing offseason signee Andy Dalton as his starter. In his first seven games, the quarterback tossed two touchdowns and six interceptions.
Despite the fact that the Bears are still in the postseason hunt at 3-4, their season is swiftly unraveling. The way Nagy and his staff handle the second half of the season might be determined by a looming Halloween clash against the struggling San Francisco 49ers.
Merriman made it obvious how he’d handle things moving forward in an interview with Gambling.com. The three-time Pro Bowler claimed he’d bench Fields, insert Dalton, who hasn’t thrown a pass since Week 3, and maintain things that way until Nagy is gone at the end of the season.
“Do not sabotage my young rookies’ efforts to recover their confidence.” I stated it in Week 1: I don’t believe in forcing rookie quarterbacks to go through it if they don’t have to. Andy Dalton has shown to be a capable quarterback. You can win some games with him, but if you want to put the rookie in there when he’s struggling with a coach who may or may not be there next year, you’re asking for trouble.”
Merriman’s statement about “it” relates to problems, which is precisely what the Bears would confront if they bench Fields.
By benching Fields right now, the Bears are taking a huge risk.
Fields’ performance is unforgivable, particularly following a five-turnover performance against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7. He’s generally played like a rookie still attempting to establish connection with his teammates, which is exactly what Nagy should be doing given how he handled summer workouts and training camp.
All of Merriman’s arguments are fair, particularly the ones about Nagy’s future. Let’s not forget that the Bears moved up to obtain Fields in the first round in April. An franchise that got nothing out of the Jay Cutler era and squandered Mitchell Tribusky’s draft pick invested in the former blue-chip prospect’s future.
As bad as it may seem for the Bears, the best option is to keep allowing the quarterback to work through his rookie woes. To even be a viable threat for a second straight Wild-Card Game participation, Chicago needs a spectacular second-half finish. Is it worth it to start Dalton in the hopes of getting the seventh seed and losing on the road at Tampa Bay or Arizona?
Fields should only be benched in one of two situations. The first is if his performance deteriorates to the point that the Bears believe he needs a mental health break. Similarly, given the offensive line’s recurrent difficulties, we might forgive Nagy if he benched the rookie, who leads the NFL with 22 sacks taken.
But if none of those situations plays out, the Bears must keep Fields on the field. Nobody said being a part of the NFL was simple.
Merriman is accurate in stating that the Bears must move away from Nagy.
The Bears are 16-19 (including the playoff game against the Saints) since their Week 6 bye in 2019, with 11 of the 19 defeats coming by double digits, including all four this season.
Prior to that bye, Matt Nagy’s Bears had lost seven games in a row, none by more than ten points.
October 28, 2021 — Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain)
There’s one point Merriman made regarding Fields’ future that the Bears organization, if they haven’t already, ought to embrace. Nagy, who has led the club to the playoffs twice since taking over in 2018, will not be able to return as head coach in 2022 if the team plans to keep Fields at quarterback.
Nagy has showed little interest in developing Fields or grooming him to be his long-term quarterback. Dalton, an offseason signee who has been a fairly ordinary performer in previous years, has been the experienced head coach’s starter for months.
Nagy, who was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2016 to 2017, may have hoped to emulate the Chiefs’ transition from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes. We recommend contrasting the four quarterbacks in this hypothetical case of history repeating itself.
What’s our recommendation? The Bears need to replace Nagy with a head coach with expertise dealing with quarterbacks, whether it’s Doug Pederson or Jim Caldwell. For Fields’ sake, let’s hope his self-assurance isn’t shattered by the time they enter Halas Hall.
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Bears WR Allen Robinson Gets Real About Justin Fields’ Slow Start, and It Should Make Fans Enraged
Shawne Merriman is a retired NFL linebacker. He has had multiple injuries, including two torn ACLs and a torn MCL, which have ended his career. He now runs an Instagram account that shows off his workouts. Reference: shawne merriman instagram.
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