Justin Fields might be a 1st round pick. He might be the anointed starter going into 2022. Yet the truth is being those things doesn’t mean he is the true leader of the Chicago Bears offense. Such things are earned, not given. One of his chief complaints last season was he never knew where he stood. The confusing hierarchy at quarterback made it difficult to know if he was supposed to assume a leadership role or if he had to concede to Andy Dalton. That confusion showed in the Bears locker room. Players weren’t sure who to follow.
So coming into this year, Fields knew he had a lot of work to do. It wasn’t only about learning his craft as a quarterback. He had to win over his teammates. He needed to make them believe that he could bring them success. If they followed his lead, everybody would benefit. Fields set the pace with a relentless work ethic, spending so many extra hours at Halas Hall working out and studying film. He’d run countless pass patterns with his receivers. He would pull guys aside whenever mistakes were made to discuss how to correct them.
As a result, progress is ongoing. It’s noticeable every time they take the field.
Justin Fields is smiling, which says a lot.
That featured image came from the Bears’ final training camp practice. Fields isn’t known for showing emotions like that too often. It strongly indicates where his head is at with less than three weeks before the regular season. He is calm, confident, and far more comfortable than last year. Teammates are feeling that vibe too. That means a lot when Cody Whitehair gives you a big hug during practice.
Guys like Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet have echoed those feelings. They believe Justin Fields will silence a lot of doubters in 2022. The new offense under Luke Getsy fits him like a glove. If he gets even average protection this season, it feels like he’s poised for a big second year. That is how much better he’s looked over the past month.