Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields offered an honest assessment of his offense this week when asked if he felt like the Bears were ready to play in a game right now.
“I’m the type of guy that would like to know I’m prepared. So, right now, I’m just being honest, we’re not ready to play a game right now,” Fields said. “And when that time comes, we will be ready. Right now, no, not ready to play a game.”
Kudos to Fields for being honest. It would’ve been easier for him to give a response layered in cliches and football speak. Instead, his answer was further proof of his maturity and role as the leader of the Bears. In a way, he’s calling out his teammates. Fields is establishing a standard on offense. It’s the kind of alpha leadership that Mitch Trubisky was never able to establish.
“Right now, they’re throwing a lot at us,” he said. “They’re pretty much throwing the whole playbook at us — which is good right now, but, of course, there are going to be mistakes. But we’d rather have the mistakes come right now than later in the fall or [training] camp.”
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The kneejerk reactions to every play at OTAs and minicamp have been hard to read. Social media has been a tough place for Chicago Bears fans who are forced to read updates from beat reporters dripping with negativity. Sure, it’s important to report what’s happening on the practice field. But context is always required.
Fields is in the process of learning an entirely new playbook. It’s his second one in two years in the league. Expectations should coincide with his projected learning curve. Offseason activities and minicamps — both voluntary and mandatory — are like the stretch before the real work begins. As Fields alluded to, it’s the time to make mistakes. Oftentimes, the best way to learn is by making a mistake, and Fields recently said that he holds himself accountable for not making the same mistake twice.
So, yeah, throw an ill-advised pass in June. Learn from the interception. And, most importantly, don’t repeat it in September. That’s what’s happening now, and it’s OK.
Fields acknowledging that the Bears offense isn’t ready to play a game should be applauded. Finally, Chicago has a quarterback who has incredible physical traits and the football IQ — on and off the field — to be great.
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.