One of the Bears’ all-time greats is exasperated with the state of the team as it sits at 3-6 during the bye week. Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus called for “drastic” changes this week and is worried the organization is going to ruin rookie quarterback Justin Fields.
Butkus, appearing on the “Stacking the Box” podcast with hosts Mark Carman and Matt Verderame, specifically went after coach Matt Nagy’s lack of creativity, the offensive line’s failure to protect Fields and the Bears’ woeful shortage of quality cornerbacks.
Discussing the offensive line, which has actually played better lately, Butkus said the entire unit “ought to be arrested for attempted murder” because it is allowing Fields to get hit so often.
“And a couple other people should be arrested for imitating cornerbacks,” he said. “But anyway, yeah, I’m frustrated. I think [chairman] George McCaskey and the Bears’ head office should be doing some drastic things.”
While he didn’t say it directly, it appeared Butkus believes one of those moves should be firing Nagy. He said he had no comment on Nagy or general manager Ryan Pace but went on to say he can easily predict what play the offense will run.
“They got the guy — they got the quarterback,” he said of Fields. “They’ve just got to get someone up front. They ought to be more creative in their plays. . . . They’re always in a third-and-seven situation where everybody knows they’ve got to throw and that poor kid is running for his life.
“If this is the [QB], and I’m sure it is, you’ve got to start doing some things to try to improve the offensive line. I mean, nothing against them, but they’re not doing the job.”
Fields has been sacked a league-high 29 times this season, but nine of those were in one game against the Browns, and a portion of that total is because of his style of play as a mobile quarterback.
Butkus, 78, also weighed in on the Bears’ potential move to Arlington Heights, saying, “They should stay downtown.” But he acknowledged the massive financial windfall that would come with building their own stadium.