The Chicago Bears had a pretty good idea of what they were getting when they traded up for Justin Fields in April. Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace saw an ultra-talented athlete with a live arm and high intelligence. Somebody with the necessary toughness to handle the physicality of the NFL and an insatiable will to win. Not to mention a mental fortitude to deal with high expectations. Something that is inevitable in this town.
Yet what a lot of people didn’t fully grasp about Fields was his work ethic. Some analysts prior to the draft had the audacity to question it. Teammates, coaches, and others close to the Ohio State spoke out vehemently against those rumors. It couldn’t have been further from the truth. Just a few months later, the Bears are beginning to get a full grasp of how insane those accusations were. Fields doesn’t just work hard. He works religiously.
Stacy Dales of NFL Network had the perfect word to describe it.
Did somebody wanna talk #Bears QBs? While veteran Andy Dalton has been declared the starter, Justin Fields has put together a pretty nice rookie off-season thus far… Report! #NFLNow @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/LRynWiMlyY
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) July 20, 2021
This has to thrill the coaching staff for reasons beyond the obvious. This figures to make Fields a better player in a hurry. Yet it goes deeper than that. One thing that has remained consistently true about the NFL? When the quarterback is the hardest worker on your roster? It is going to trickle down to everybody else. He is the leader and the tone-setter. That is why guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have had so much success.
Nobody was ever going to outwork them. Fields seems cut from the same cloth. Weight room. Practice field. Film room. Odds are you’ll find him in one of those places during the day. He even finds work to do in his bedroom before sleep.
Justin Fields has the drive to be great
This is why excitement is so high among Bears fans. They saw him play in college. Now they’re hearing things like this before training camp has even begun. It feels like the only thing stopping him from being great is the organization itself. Will the Bears find a way to screw this up? They certainly have a track record in that department. Everything from building poor offensive lines, failing to find good weapons, and not finding the right coaching staff.
This time might actually be different though. It feels like the organization has the right pieces in place. Nagy and his staff are loaded with quarterback specialists. They will cater to Justin Fields in every way possible. They invested heavily in the offensive line in the draft and have added a number of receiving weapons and running backs too.
It is clear evidence they know where their priorities are.
That is the most important thing. Now it is a matter of helping Fields mature into what he should be. Given the way he works on top of his talent? There isn’t much that is going to stop him from achieving big things in Chicago. All fans should do is sit back and watch. That and hope bad luck doesn’t find a way to strike again.