Justin Fields is ready to get to work with the new Chicago Bears regime.
Fields spoke with the media on January 31 following the introductions of new general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus, and it’s clear the young signal-caller is looking forward to having a new pair of football guys in the building.
While Fields has had nothing but positive things to say about former head coach Matt Nagy, it was a decision the recently-fired ex-coach made that seems to have stunted the quarterback’s rookie campaign. Instead of holding an open quarterback competition or naming Fields the starter over veteran Andy Dalton, Nagy was adamant from the beginning Dalton would start. Things changed when Fields took over for an injured Dalton Week 2, and won the starting job shortly after.
When speaking with the media, Fields discussed his ups and downs last year, and noted he’s looking forward to a much smoother start to his sophomore season.
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Fields Says Rookie Campaign ‘Was Kinda Weird’
“I think last year was kinda weird, just me not starting the season being the starting quarterback,” Fields told the media. “It was kind of a weird leadership role – I think me and Andy would kind of switch off. But now that I am starting off the season as a starting quarterback, I think I’ll be more comfortable playing that leader role. There’s no more, ‘Oh, he’s a rookie, this and that’ – it’s time now, so I’m excited like I said before and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Fields completed 58.9% of his passes last season for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He finished with a 73.2 passer rating, and he also had 420 yards and two TDs on the ground. There was definite potential there, but Nagy was often criticized for his inability to tailor his offensive scheme around Fields and his strengths.
Fields was also sacked 36 times and under constant pressure, so the young QB has to feel good about Poles’ emphasis on the offensive line out of the gate.
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Fields Is Ready to Learn a New Offense
With Eberflus adding former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy as the next offensive coordinator and former New York Giants wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert as their new WRs coach and passing game coordinator, Fields will have plenty of new plays and concepts to learn — and he says he’s ready for it.
“It’s important for coaches to run plays that their players are good at running.” Fields added.
“They already have a base idea what my strengths are, but me being able to communicate with them and tell them what my strengths are, we can get on the same page. But there’s going to be some new stuff that we didn’t run last year that works and I’ve never run before that they’re going to want me to learn. So, I’ll talk to them and see what they need me to do and see what they need me to learn and then work on that in the offseason — and by the time training camp comes around, I’ll know it.”