LAKE FOREST – As he begins preparations for the 2022 NFL season, there is no doubt where the second year quarterback stands when it comes to his place on the Bears.

“QB1” is next to his name this April, it will be in July before training camp, and when the team kicks things off in September.

That wasn’t the case for Justin Fields in his rookie year where he was the backup coming into offseason workouts, training camp, and early in the regular season despite outside overtures for the first round pick to start right away.

He wouldn’t wait long, however, as Fields took over for the injured Andy Dalton in Week 2, started the next two games, then was declared the permanent starting quarterback before a Week 5 contest against the Raiders. That title stuck for the rest of Fields’ first season and does as he starts preparations for his second in the National Football League.

“It feels good just having that mindset,” said Fields on Tuesday of being the starter as the team continues voluntary workouts at Halas Hall. “It’s definitely a different mindset than last year. So I’m ready for the role, and I’m ready to lead this offense, lead this team.”

It will come with a healthy amount of changes with a new coaching staff along with players around him on offense. Matt Eberflus takes over as head coach for Matt Nagy while offensive coordinator Luke Getsy takes the controls of a unit that struggled to find its footing over the past four seasons.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get the offense installed and just get this thing kinda going,” said Fields of working with Getsy. “Just kinda building just day-by-day right now.”

Already Fields says he’s made one adjustment to his own game already.

“One big thing was changing my drop,” said Fields. “Last year in the gun I had my right foot forward so I’ve been working a lot of my left foot forward in of the gun.”

How does that help him?

“It’s just what they do in their offense, it times up better with their routes and stuff like that,” responded Fields.

The quarterback certainly hopes that an adjustment makes for a better year two after a rough introduction to professional football in 12 games in 2021.

During that season, Fields completed 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards and seven touchdowns compared to ten interceptions while rushing for 420 yards and two scores on the ground. The quarterback certainly took his hits as he was sacked 36 times in 12 games and was knocked out of the lineup on a few occasions.

“A lot of ups and downs but I definitely learned a lot,” said Fields of his rookie year. “Thankful for all the experiences and stuff we had to go through. The stuff last year is just going to make me better, so of course, I’m excited for year two.”

Where there is a lot new for the franchise quarterback, including his place on the depth chart to start.