Remember those reports about how bad Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields looked after one of the team’s voluntary minicamp last month? Yeah, me too. They were silly at the time, and are even sillier after Fields took to the grass at the Bears’ voluntary OTAs this week.
“I had pretty high expectations,” Bears center Lucas Patrick said of Fields after Tuesday’s practice session. “You don’t get drafted as high as he does in the National Football League just by kind of having a wet noodle or slow feet. He’s really talented. I thought he was going to be really good, and he is exceeding my expectations.”
Fields is still working through the nuances of offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system, and it’ll take time before it becomes muscle memory. But he’s putting the work in.
“There’s nobody that’s going to outwork him that’s in this building — coach, player, he’s going to be the hardest worker,” Bears quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko said. “For me, that’s something that, coming in here, I had hoped for. It was definitely something that was enforced from the minute he and I first got together.”
The Chicago Bears believe in Justin Fields
The 2022 offseason has been littered with false narratives about Bears general manager Ryan Poles not being all-in on Fields. There’s been a bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests Poles has been intentionally inactive in providing Fields with veteran receivers or an improved offensive line. It’s been nonsense from the start, but hey… the Bears click well. So, why not, right?
Reality paints a very different picture. The Bears aren’t’ just all-in on Fields; they believe he has what it takes to be great.
“You hear the stories on some of the great guys when they come into the building, they’re ready to go,” Janocko said. “They’re prepared mentally, they’re prepared with what they did the night before, and then they’re prepared to come in. This is what they do, and this is what they want to be great at, so that’s what you see from him.”
A few bad throws from Fields in one April minicamp spiraled out of control, no pun intended. Now, after another month of studying the playbook and learning its principles, the quarterback the Bears drafted 11th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft is beginning to showcase his skills.
“He’s got all the tools,” quarterback Trevor Siemian said. “Just around him, we’ve got to play well around him and give him a chance. But yeah, he’s got everything.”
Bryan is the founder and managing editor of Bears Talk. His previous stops include Bears coverage for NBC Sports Chicago and USA Today. His NFL Draft and Bears coverage has also been featured on The Draft Network.