Justin Fields can’t control what the media says about him. He’s not deaf. He knows people are predicting him to have the worst season of any second-year quarterback. Not only will he throw the fewest touchdowns, but also the most interceptions. He doesn’t have any good wide receivers or an offensive line. It is going to be a disaster. If that is the case, people neglect to inform the Chicago Bears defense.
Beat reporter Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Chicago attended every training camp practice through the first week. His impressions were not of a quarterback faced with imminent destruction—quite the opposite. Fields had a strong case for being the best offensive player during every practice. There were occasional hiccups, including some interceptions. By and large, though, the young quarterback looked leagues ahead of where he was last year.
Hearing the description makes it difficult not to get excited.
“Fields, however, was not the issue.
The second-year quarterback had an above-average second day but delivered an impressive performance on Day 3, showcasing his ability to bounce back from adversity and change the game with his arm and legs.
After being picked off by Kyler Gordon and Brisker to start the red-zone period Friday, Fields ripped off a dazzling string of plays that included a jump-pass to Cole Kmet for a touchdown and an off-platform bullet to Equanimeous St. Brown for a jump-ball score. Fields finished the day by going perfect in seven-on-seven drills, where the offense had a clear advantage. Fields ended the day with three straight touchdown passes to Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery, and N’Keal Harry.
Fields’ growth from Year 1 to Year 2 has been apparent, and the Bears should be optimistic about where he stands in his development.”
Justin Fields finally has complete control, and that matters.
He admitted more than once that last season was frustrating. A big reason why was not knowing where he stood in the hierarchy of the Bears offense. While he was the unquestioned future of the team at quarterback, head coach Matt Nagy did a poor job making it clear who the leader was supposed to be. That was only made worse by not giving the rookie a single snap in training camp with the #1 offense.
That issue has been rectified. Matt Eberflus and his staff have given Justin Fields the majority of snaps since practices began in May. He is getting as many reps as possible to build chemistry with his receivers and master the new offense under Luke Getsy. The results thus far even have them surprised. They expected him to come along quickly, but not this quickly. Everything from his throwing motion to his footwork and processing speed is miles better.
Even the offense itself looks improved. Getsy has a clear idea of what his quarterback’s strengths are and is crafting a scheme around them. Fields may not take a Joe Burrow-like jump in 2022. Even so, signs point to him being significantly better than people are projecting.