GM says Bears don’t view Justin Fields ‘as a finger pointer’

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles called an impromptu news conference Thursday to address the fallout from a litany of events at Halas Hall on Wednesday that began with quarterback Justin Fields expressing frustration over how he’s being coached and ended with the sudden resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

Poles voiced support for coach Matt Eberflus and Fields, adding, “No one in our entire building, none of our coaches see Fields as a finger pointer at all.”

“First and foremost, to hit it straight on, we have adversity right now,” Poles said. “Slow start, 0-2, not where you want to be. We’ve dealt with life issues. We’ve dealt with injuries, and that’s all real and that’s a part of what we do and what we got to deal with.

“To make it really, really clear, I know the outside noise, but no one in our building is panicking. No one is flinching at any situations, not our owner, not our president, our head coach, not myself, none of our players. Everyone is focusing on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a better football team.”

Fields said Wednesday the amount of information he’s receiving from coaches is causing him to overthink in games and “not play like myself.” Fields characterized his play in a 27-17 loss to Tampa Bay as “robotic.”

“When I listen to him and that whole deal, the majority of it was like, ‘All right, I’ve gotta create this clarity, I’ve got to get better,'” Poles said of Fields’ comments. “I thought he took ownership of everything. He didn’t have to say anything about that. Our coaches are like, ‘How can we make you better? How can we help you be successful?’ And there’s always that balance. No one took it personally. We all know we have a hand in our success and we want him to be successful and it takes everyone for him to be successful, including himself. I kinda thought he hit on all of that. It was no shock to anyone.”

Fields addressed reporters later Wednesday at his locker and said his quotes were taken out “of context.”

Poles also addressed the resignation of Williams, 53, who had been away from the team since last Thursday because of what the Bears classified as a personal reason. In a statement announcing his resignation, Williams said he was “taking a step back to take care of my health and my family.”

“In terms of Alan, I don’t have many details to add there,” Poles said. “We try to work in truth, and I know there is a ton of misinformation out there. Yesterday, we talked about Halas Hall being raided. That’s completely false. Don’t even know where that came from. Worked with [president/CEO Kevin Warren] and [Bears chairman George McCaskey], all of our leadership, to make sure we were handling it the right way, communicating properly and obviously everything concluded yesterday. But we have a ton of confidence in our plan moving forward.”

Poles said the Bears will reevaluate titles among the defensive staff next week. Eberflus, who spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator in Indianapolis, will call plays against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

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