Justin Fields was facing criticism last week when ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky suggested that NFL teams believed he had a bad work ethic. Orlovsky admitted that he could have phrased his comments better, however, by that time the deed was already done. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has come to the defense of Fields, but many are now criticizing him for his choice of words. Day, who coached Fields for two seasons at Ohio State, had a strong response to Orlovsky’s remarks.
“The whole idea that he doesn’t have a very good work ethic?” Day told Peter King. “I mean, to me, that’s crazy. He got done with the Clemson game [the loss in the college football playoffs in the 2019 season] and he came back and all he did was work to get back to that game. And when those other guys are opting out, what’s he do? He petitions to have a season. He put together this petition that the Big Ten athletes all signed saying that they want to play, but they want to play safely and that they don’t accept canceling the season. It was all led by Justin Fields. Where was everybody else? Where were the guys who were opting out then? You know, you don’t love the game if you’re doing something like that. This kid loves the game.”
It’s hard to be critical of Ryan Day for defending his former quarterback, but he definitely overstepped. Yes, Justin Fields was a leader in the revival of the Big Ten season, but that doesn’t make it right to come at the kids who decided that opting out was in their best interest.
Being critical of Orlovsky and other NFL teams is totally fair, but Ryan Day was out of line when he made the remark about all the others who decided to opt out of the season. Justin Fields’ work ethic is what was in question. Day should have let his remarks reflect what he knows about Fields as a leader and a hard worker.
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