Over the weekend, the Chicago Bears held their first rookie minicamp practice and Justin Fields was already catching the eyes and ears of fellow rookies and others around the organization.
With a certain buzz around the team, it didn’t take long for Fields to make headlines, in a good way. He already caught the attention of new offensive lineman Larry Borom:
“He’s 100% about business. It’s not fun and games when we’re on the field,” Larry Borom said. “It’s definitely 100% business and he wants to do the job at the highest level that he can. I try to echo that with my play and it works out. It sets the tone for the whole offense. If you see your quarterback, he’s not messing around, it makes everyone else want to work 10 times harder.”
New running back Khalil Herbert seemed to have noticed the same thing after just one day of practice.
“Definitely, he gives out (a serious) demeanor on the field. I think guys gravitate towards it and it spreads to guys in the locker room. When we’re out there and he’s locked in, dialed in, making sure we’ve got the calls, got the plays, got the cadence. And it definitely helps, I feel like it runs a lot smoother, knowing what we gotta do, how to do it. To have that kind of clean, crisp mindset when we attack the line of scrimmage.”
Listen, we’ve heard about players setting the right tone in the Bears locker room as recent as just a season ago when numerous teammates voiced their support for Mitch Trubisky and how everyone was behind him in the locker room. The difference is that this time around, not only is the vocal side of setting the tone there, but the physical side is, too. All signs are pointing to Justin Fields being able to elevate his teammates around him to a higher level with his play. Something unfortunately Mitch was not able to do.
Head Coach Matt Nagy noticed a seriousness, calmness and high level of leadership in Fields as well:
“His mechanics were really good. I thought he seemed super calm. A lot of times in these camps, things seem a thousand miles per hour and it didn’t seem that way from where I was.”
“I thought it was pretty cool that already on Day 1, Justin was going over and in a coachable and teachable way was explaining to that player, ‘Hey, they changed rotation-wise. Next time that happens, you have to run this route instead of that route.’ Day 1, that’s pretty good.”
It wasn’t just good soundbites from teammates and coaches though, Fields had some of his own that are encouraging coming from a rookie QB:
“My short-term goals are just to be crisp with the huddle call. Making sure I’m precise with my reads and stuff like that and really taking command of the huddle and show the guys out there that I am leading the offense. That’s pretty much the list of short-term goals I have down for this weekend.”
“If you want to be great at something, you have to work hard at it. I want to be great at learning this playbook, so I’m going to work hard at it, of course.”
“As time goes along, I’ll be getting more used to the playbook. I’ll eventually know it like the back of my hand. It’s just going to come with time.”
“It’s just calling the play call with confidence. Having a loud voice and just really taking control over the whole offense and really showing your teammates and the people who are out there on the field with you that you’re the guy out there. That you have full confidence not only in yourself, but in your teammates.”
Fields is already checking the boxes with just one weekend of practice under his belt. Teammates are noticing the leadership. He’s coaching teammates on a playbook he’s barely had time to learn. The coaching staff is impressed with him learning the playbook. Fields is saying all the right things. Now we just have to see it on the field, because none of this matters if he can’t perform and win games.
Time will tell, but I think we got a good one, folks.