Chicago Bears second-year quarterback Justin Fields has been putting in a great deal of work this offseason, and his longtime quarterbacks coach recently revealed which elements of Fields’ game Chicago’s new regime wants him to work on.
The 6-foot-3, 228-pound QB ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards last year (1,870), 18th in interceptions (10), and he was sacked 12 times in 10 regular season starts, which was 12th in the league. While he showed several promising flashes as a rookie and his leadership has been second to none, Fields has much to improve in his game if he wants to help make the Bears, who have won just one playoff game since 2006, into a perennial postseason contender.
On the Parkins & Spiegel Show on April 1, Ron Veal, who has served as a trainer and QB coach for Fields since the QB was in the sixth grade, told hosts Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel what Bears new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and the team’s new staff wanted Fields to get better at before the 2022 season rolls around.
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Fields Working to Improve Speed of Dropbacks & Delivery
“We did maybe 15, 16 sessions together, individual sessions, just working on a few things, because you know, they have a new offensive coordinator and a new coach,” Veal said about the work he and Fields have been doing. “So, we’re just trying to implement some of the things that they will be going over here the next couple weeks.”
Veal noted there were multiple things the Bears new coaching staff wanted the young quarterback to work on this offseason, and he got specific.
“We’re trying to speed up his drops a little bit more,” Veal revealed. “Trying to speed up his delivery a little bit more so he can throw the ball on time. A little bit more anticipation. Those are the things we focused on.”
But that’s not all Fields is looking to improve.
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Fields Has Been Putting Extra Time in With Darnell Mooney & Cole Kmet
In addition to getting rid of the ball faster and hastening his drop, Fields has been working on ball security and the way he carries the pigskin, Veal says.
“We’re just trying to get (the ball) more secure, a little bit closer to the body, and if he does feel pressure or have pressure, a sack is not a bad thing, you can always punt — but a turnover gives the offense on the opposing team another series to get plays under their belt,” the QB coach said.
Fields has also been getting extra offseason work in with two of his favorite targets, tight end Cole Kmet and wide receiver Darnell Mooney, Veal says.
Mooney had his first career 1,000-yard season in 2021, leading the team in targets (140), catches (81), yards (1,055) and TDs (four). Kmet was second on the squad in targets (93), receptions (60) and receiving yards (612), but he failed to make it into the end zone. Both had career-highs in yardage, targets and receptions during their second seasons playing largely with Fields, and the hope is for an even bigger jump in 2022.