LAKE FOREST – The heat is on for every player at Bears’ mandatory workouts this week at Halas Hall thanks to a burst of warm air from mother nature.
It may also be on Justin Fields a little more than anyone else, and it’s not just because of the weather.
The quarterback is entering his second season in the NFL as he hopes to show more of his skills after a number of challenges in his rookie season. On top of that, he’s dealing with an offense with a few new players and a major shuffle on the offensive line.
They’ll all take part in a new offense of new coordinator Luke Getsy which Fields will pilot during the 2022 season.
So it’s safe to say that Fields is going to need some time to get a grasp of the offense, and he’s the first to be appreciative of the time in the offseason to get that done. Proof came in his answer to the question of whether he was ready for the season to start.
“No, I’m not ready for the season to start,” said Fields in response to the question. “I’m the type of guy to like to know that I’m prepared, so right now, I’m just being honest, I’m not ready to play a game right now. When that time comes, we will be ready, so right now, no, I’m not ready to play a game.”
It’s a fair assessment for a team with a lot of things to sort out before they take the field for Week 1 against the 49ers on September 11th. Plenty is on Fields’ plate as he learns the new scheme and then tries to find a way to make it work effectively over the course of 17 games.
“Right now, they’re throwing a lot at us, they’re throwing the whole playbook at us, which is good, right now,” said Fields, who is finishing up the offseason with mandatory minicamp this week. “Of course, there is going to be mistakes, but we’d rather have mistakes come right now than later in the fall camp.
“They’re just talking about how, pretty much right now they’re just putting a lot on us, which is good so we’re learning everything, learning from our mistakes and stuff like that.”
As he goes through this process this week and then in training camp later this summer, Fields will balance having patience with his own growth in the offense while also having the urgency to be ready for Week 1. The quarterback has kept a simple philosophy as he tries to make that happen.
“For me, it’s just not making the same mistake twice,” said Fields. “If you make that one mistake on a play, just don’t do it again. If you ultimately keep getting better, keep growing, it will be less mistakes each and every day, and, of course, you’ll be right where you want to be.”
That isn’t right now for Fields, and that’s just fine for the quarterback in an offseason full of changes at Halas Hall.