LAS VEGAS -- Torry Holt knows a thing or two about good quarterback play.
The legendary St. Louis Rams wide receiver put up six straight seasons of 1,300 or more yards as a key cog of “The Greatest Show on Turf” Rams.
Holt caught passes from Kurt Warner, Trent Green, and Marc Bulger among others. He has an eye for talent. A decade-plus in the NFL authoring a career that will likely end in a gold jacket has given him an uncanny ability to identify when a signal-caller has it and when he doesn’t.
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To Holt, Bears quarterback Justin Fields has it.
“I think he continues to show tremendous growth. I love Justin Fields. I’m a big fan of his,” Holt told NBC Sports Chicago at Super Bowl 58 Radio Row. “I like his skill set. I like his size, his ability to run, use his arm. His arm is fantastic. You see some of the throws he makes when he’s comfortable and he’s protected and he understands what he’s doing. He looks really good.
“Now, does he have some flaws and some things he can improve on? Absolutely. All young quarterbacks do. Even some of our veteran quarterbacks need help and tutelage in certain areas. But his talent is great.”
Holt understands the Bears face a franchise-defining decision this offseason at quarterback. With the No. 1 pick in their back pocket, general manager Ryan Poles must decide whether he wants to stick with Fields or draft USC star Caleb Williams.
Holt doesn’t think it should be much of a debate. The All-Decade receivers sees Fields and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison as Chicago’s quickest path back to contention.
“I’m not taking Caleb Williams,” Holt said. “I’m going to stay and build around Justin. I’ve said having a guy like Marvin Harrison Jr. on the other side of DJ Moore, and what that will do for DJ Moore and how he looks at the game when he has a guy across the field who is just as good as him.
When I was in St. Louis, I looked across the field and I saw Isaac Bruce and I didn’t want to let Isaac Bruce down. I wanted to get to the level of Isaac Bruce. I wanted to challenge and compete with Isaac Bruce. It’s healthy. Marvin Harrison with his big-play ability, his pedigree – his dad played in the league and he understands what the expectations are – he’ll be a good fit.”
Holt understands the criticisms of Fields, but he believes the issues come down to the organization’s lack of consistency around the 24-year-old quarterback. If the Bears can solidify everything around him, Holt believes Fields will blossom.
“Getting consistency in the building from top down is going to be huge, not only for Justin but for all the Chicago Bears,” Holt said. “Having that same continual message every year is beneficial. Because now you’re being empowered by men and women that are part of the organization that you know are going to be there and have been there. It has been up and down.
It has been in and out of doors with the Chicago Bears and you see that with the football team. I think when they get consistency there, in the organization from top down, get an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, position coaches that are in there for a long time, you’ll see better play from the Bears.
“I think Justin Fields is certainly the Bears’ franchise quarterback. You have an opportunity to trade out of those picks to get more guys around him that will continue to elevate his play. I think you’ll see a change in the Chicago Bears.”
While the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are the main focus this week in Las Vegas this week, the Bears’ quarterback decision might be Storyline 1B.
It’s a question that will define Poles’ tenure as general manager.
One Holt believes has an easy answer: Keep Fields.