CHICAGO – It’s nowhere near a tradition yet, but it’s worth noting the fan’s reaction when he steps onto the field.
When Justin Fields has taken over at quarterback in the last two preseason games, fans have stood up and cheered quite loudly. That was in the second quarter against the Dolphins on August 14th then against the Bills this past Saturday.
The roar reflects the excitement of the fan base as they hope that the 2021 first round pick will finally solve the team’s issue of finding a long-term franchise quarterback.
“Yeah, I noticed it,” said Fields of the fan’s reception, which includes chanting his name when on the sidelines. “Of course, you know the fans are awesome, getting me out there.”
Of course, Fields is coming onto the field with the second offensive team with Andy Dalton already the appointed starter for Week 1 against the Rams on September 12th. That’s been met with some disapproval from the team’s supporters who are 100 percent behind Fields to start opening night. Some were booing when the first team offense struggled with Dalton the starter.
While appreciative of the support, Fields would like it if the fans would give Dalton the same respect when he’s under center.
‘”You also have to realize that Andy is a human being, too. Andy is out on the field right now. So I think it’s kind of disrespectful to Andy them cheering my name out like that,” said Fields when asked about fans chanting his name on the sidelines. “You know, they have to trust in Coach to make sure he’s making the right decisions, and just cheering Andy on like that’s not helping Andy play better.
“Them cheering my name, that’s not doing none of that. You know, my advice to them would be just cheer for who is out there playing on the field.”
So what did Dalton, who finished 11-of-17 for 146 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Bills, think of the boos?
“That’s part of it. They want to see a good product out there. I didn’t hear any boos after the touchdown pass that I threw,” said Dalton. So you know, hopefully, they will be cheering a lot.”
While many are focused on when Fields, who finished 9-of-19 for 80 yards passing along with 46 rushing yards and four carries, the idea of winning the job out of training camp isn’t something the rookie is sweating as the preseason continues.
“I’m not worried about any of that to be honest with you,”said Fields when asked how focused he is on trying to change the coach’s minds about his current spot on the depth chart. “I’m just worried about getting better every day and everything will take care of itself.”
As it does, Fields hopes that Bears’ fans will give the same respect to the man who is currently the team’s starting quarterback.