Justin Fields is like any other quarterback. He loves to have the game put on his shoulders. He wants to throw the ball around and make big plays. The work he’s putting in to make that a reality is evidence enough. One has to think the 23-year-old is frustrated after the first two weeks of the season. In games against San Francisco and Green Bay, Fields has 28 pass attempts combined. For context, Joe Flacco leads the NFL with 103 passing attempts. That is almost five times as many.
Some wonder if head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy are reluctant to let him throw. Maybe they don’t trust him enough to execute. It is clear that Fields sometimes struggles with pocket awareness and field vision. Or perhaps they don’t trust his protection and wide receivers to get open. That doesn’t seem likely since both held up reasonably well against Green Bay. It would be easy for Fields to feel frustrated about not being given more chances.
At his latest press conference, he clarified that that wasn’t the case. Only one thing matters to the Chicago Bears quarterback.
“Like I said about Darnell on Sunday, if he caught zero passes and we won the game, he wouldn’t have any problem, if I threw zero passes and we won the game, I wouldn’t have any problem. Our goal as a team, as an offense is to win games. Nobody’s looking at how many passes did I have, how many yards did I I have.”
Justin Fields is allergic to losing.
He never did that much in high school or college. His ultra-competitive mentality makes it to where he is almost visibly ill every time the Bears lose. He admitted the defeat in Green Bay was the toughest one he’s had to stomach in his young career. Losing the game was bad enough, but to play so poorly made it ten times worse. That is why he changed his routine this week, waking up even earlier to get an extra hour of work in.
Losing hope in quarterbacks is a time-honored tradition for Bears fans. They’ve been burned so many times by this point that they expect failure. That is what Justin Fields is working against. He’s playing in a brand new offense three weeks into the regular season. He deserves more time to get things pointed in the right direction. There are 15 games left. It’s a reasonable assumption he will throw the ball a lot more by the time they’re over.
It will be fair to pass judgment on his progress when that moment comes. Not before.