Maybe it will help Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields that he spent a week last year preparing for a Wink Martindale defense.

Fields’ appearance was brief. He left a Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field with bruised ribs suffered at the start of the third quarter. Fields completed 4 of 11 passes for 79 yards.

But, as he dived into the game plan this week, Fields will have some real memory from studying a Martindale defense. Brian Daboll, the first-year coach of the New York Giants, hired Martindale after the long-time Ravens coordinator parted ways with John Harbaugh.

Perhaps this will give Fields a head start in understanding the challenges that the Bears’ defense schemes will face. When the teams meet Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the Giant’s defense, which employs a variety of pressures, could have some unscouted looks for the Bears (noon, Fox-32).

Fields said Wednesday that he’s sticking to the same daily routine he adopted last week when he started arriving at Halas Hall earlier after a poor performance in Week 2 in Green Bay. The Bears don’t necessarily need Fields to win Sunday’s game between 2-1 teams, but they can’t afford another two-turnover game as he had in the 23-20 Week 3 victory over the Houston Texans.

Fields have attempted the fewest passes of any starting quarterback this season, and it’s difficult to see the offense opening up anytime soon. According to the league’s Next Gen statistics, none of his 45 passes attempts this season have been into a tight window, indicating his reluctance to let go.

On the play that turned into a 29-yard scramble against the Texans, he said he was locked on to Darnell Mooney. That explains why I didn’t throw to an open Equanimeous St. Brown.

“Not really,” Fields said when asked if he was hesitating. “You’ve just got to listen to your feet and throw the ball on time.”

One of the most pressing concerns for Fields, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and the rest of the offense is this. There aren’t enough plays where the ball is released on time. This messes up the rhythm of plays that may have started working well on the practice field.

“It was frustrating for sure but got to learn from the mistakes,” Fields said of the win over the Texans, noting corrections are easier for everyone coming off a victory.



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