One of the little fun facts about the NFL is that quarterbacks get to choose what types of football they use on Sundays. It has to be a certain size and inflated to the right PSI, but different dimensions are involved. Some are longer with a thinner circumference, while others are shorter with a wider diameter. Every quarterback has a particular preference. Chicago Bears fans found out about Justin Fields’.
The team caught their QB mic’d up during one practice talking to his center, Lucas Patrick. He explained that the ball he was holding was a type of football he liked. Patrick did not. It seemed it was different from what he was used to in Green Bay during his time with Aaron Rodgers. Apparently, younger quarterbacks often go for the ball-type Fields likes. Veterans like Rodgers opt for thicker ones. Such an idea was not well-received by the Bears’ signal-caller.
Justin Fields’ hand size may have lots to do with that.
During the scouting combine, measurements came out at around 9 and 1/8 inches. While that isn’t too small, it is considered average for an NFL quarterback. It makes sense he’d prefer a thinner ball, allowing him to get a better overall grip. By contrast, Rodgers’ hands were measured at 10 and 1/8 inches. That is on the bigger side, so he can get a better grip. That is why “fat balls” don’t deter him as they might others.
It will cease to fascinate how many details go into playing the quarterback position. Everything from footwork, arm angle, pre and post-snap reads, accuracy, and arm strength goes into its success. Now it seems even the type of ball they use plays a part in it. It’s fun to see Justin Fields discuss something like that. Patrick will have to get used to playing with that type. It might take some adjusting, but he’ll get the hang of it soon enough. The two already seem on the same page from a chemistry standpoint.