Justin Fields

Super Bowl champion says ‘tap the brakes' on Justin Fields-Jalen Hurts comparison

Can Justin Fields make the same third-year leap Jalen Hurts did last season?

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One comparison Justin Fields has received often this offseason is a similarity to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Both are dual threat, physical, strong-armed quarterbacks. But Super Bowl champion, Damien Woody, doesn't think Fields, nor the Bears, are ready for a Hurts-Eagles leap.

"I get why people would make the comparison," Woody said on ESPN. "You talk about two guys who are very athletic and can hurt you both with their arm and their legs. I know people are talking about 'Can Justin Fields make the Jalen Hurts type of leap?' I'd tap the brakes on that because I think the infrastructure in Philadelphia is much, much better than what's going on in Chicago.

"I know Chicago's made a lot of progress . . . But I just look at Philadelphia, man, you're talking about an offense that's just humming across the board."

Max Kellerman chimed in with his belief that Fields will make "incremental development" similar to that of Josh Allen. It won't be an overnight leap for Fields. Kellerman says it'll be a year-by-year process for the Bears signal caller.

RELATED: T.J. Edwards says Fields can make same leap as Jalen Hurts

As the ESPN crew alluded, Hurts took a rocket through his third year in the league. He went from throwing just over 3,000 yards, to close to 4,000 yards. He scored 12 more touchdowns than he did his sophomore season. And his efficiency went way up, increasing his completion rate by five percent and his passer rating by over 13 points.

Fields notched a better rushing season last year than Hurts ever has or will. He ran for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns, slaughtering NFL and franchise records along the way. But, Fields has not yet proven what he can do in the passing game.

Last season, he threw for a little over 2,000 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His career completion percentage remains under 60 percent through two seasons and he recorded an 85.2 passer rating.

As Woody pointed out, however, Fields inhibition from making a Hurts-caliber jump isn't entirely on him. The Bears don't possess the roster talent the Eagles built around Hurts. The Eagles have a star-studded offensive and defensive line; they also brought in A.J Brown, one of the NFL's best receivers, before the beginning of last season.

The Bears have improved their roster widely this season. But they aren't at the Eagles' level yet. Most project them to be a .500 team at best and a fringe playoff team. The Eagles went to the Super Bowl last season and are bound for another run this upcoming year. The Bears simply aren't there yet.

That's why Fields likely won't make the jump Hurts did in 2022. It's not entirely on Fields, as the roster still needs improvement and the team needs games under their belts as a collective second season under Matt Eberflus.

But, it wouldn't surprise Bears fans to see Fields take a momentous leap next season.

"The idea of him doing what Hurts did last year and ending up in the Super Bowl seems like a little bit much," Dan Graziano said. "As Damien said, infrastructure, this year's Bears are not last year's Eagles no matter what you think about the quarterbacks."

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