Chicago Bears

Justin Fields: “Everybody in the building knows what kind of leader I am”

It’s been a while since the Chicago Bears have had so much excitement around the organization. The offseason was headlined by GM Ryan Poles controlling free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft, and now that the roster has undergone a facelift on both sides of the ball, attention has turned to business on the field.

The Bears aren’t that far away from being a winning team again. Nine wins are achievable with their schedule this season, and the NFC North is ripe for the taking if Chicago somehow squeezes out a 10th victory along the way.

Any success this team has will depend on the play of QB Justin Fields, who’s developing as an NFL passer and maturing as a leader and spokesperson for the club.

Fields was impressive during his media session at OTAs on Tuesday. He appeared the most comfortable he’s been since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2021. Perhaps it’s the result of having the same offense for the second year in a row (the first time in his career). Maybe it’s because he sees firsthand the improvements the Chicago Bears have made at wide receiver. Or perhaps it’s because he’s simply maturing, as most pro athletes do, assuming they’re given the time to do it.

The moment the Bears secured the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, Justin Fields was the target of trade speculation by media meatballs. Talking heads suggested Bryce Young would make more sense for Poles’ rebuilding plan. It was a ridiculous narrative that proved to be the furthest thing from the truth.

“It’s a great feeling,” Fields said of Poles and coach Matt Eberflus’s commitment to him this offseason. “The coaches trust me, I trust them. Everybody in the building knows the kind of leader and person I am. I’m just excited to be able to lead this team and to be able to reach new heights.”

If Fields reaches new heights in 2023, he won’t do it alone. Wide receivers Chase Claypool and DJ Moore are a big reason there’s so much optimism around the Chicago Bears offense right now. They’ve already connected on several plays in OTAs and will look to continue that momentum as the offseason marches on and training camp approaches.

“Every year’s a big year,” Fields said. “Yeah. I don’t really have anything to expand on that. For me, every year’s a big year, and I’m excited to show it.”

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