When I write “we” in that title up there, I’m clearly not referring to any of us here at Windy City Gridiron. Each and every one of us are excited at the potential that comes with the former Ohio State quarterback.
I’m also not talking about 99% of our Chicago Bears’ fanbase, because you guys have mostly been all-in on number 1 too.
And it also isn’t in reference to most of the local or national media that cover the NFL, because just about everyone of them thought the Bears hit a homerun with their selection of Justin Fields at 11 overall. Even with a trade up, analysts are near unanimous in their praise for what Ryan Pace was able to do with his quarterback do-over this draft.
Is his success guaranteed?
Of course not.
But Fields is the best quarterback prospect the Bears have drafted since... the 1940s?
Are there some legit questions surrounding his game? Sure. I’ve seen some scouts wonder about the mechanics and speed of his release, while others believe his pocket presence could use some tweaking when it comes to knowing when to bail and use his athleticism to pick up yards.
But then there are the shots at his work ethic that came out during the pre-draft build up. Could it have been fabricated to get him to fall? Was the negativity directed at him meant to boost up the stature of the other QBs in that group of four after Trevor Lawrence. Or was it just the stereotypical thing we often hear about Black quarterbacks?
Fields’ head coach, Ryan Day, spoke with Pro Football Talk’s Peter King last month when the work ethic questions first popped up.
“The whole idea that he doesn’t have a very good work ethic?” Day said over the phone Saturday afternoon. “I mean, to me, that’s crazy. He got done with the Clemson game [the loss in the college football playoffs in the 2019 season] and he came back and all he did was work to get back to that game. And when those other guys are opting out, what’s he do? He petitions to have a season. He put together this petition that the Big Ten athletes all signed saying that they want to play, but they want to play safely and that they don’t accept canceling the season. It was all led by Justin Fields. Where was everybody else? Where were the guys who were opting out then? You know, you don’t love the game if you’re doing something like that. This kid loves the game.
“I heard something about the last one to come in, first one to leave. First off, the scouts weren’t in our building all year. Last one in? Every morning, at least every morning we could be in the building, early, he’s in with [football sports performance czar] Mickey Marotti. The guys who were self-motivated and could do things on their own, those were the ones who made it. He was unbelievable. He changed his diet, he got stronger. He did better than most.”
Of course Day is going to stand up for his guy, but there hasn’t been anyone that has worked with or played with Fields that could substantiate those pre-draft rumors.
Fields wasn’t the first player to transfer from one school to another, but some tried to make that a thing that matters. Joe Burrow, the first overall pick in 2020, did it in going from Ohio State to LSU in 2018 because he wanted a better chance to start.
But that didn’t hurt his stock.
Do you think Fields left Georgia because he was afraid to compete with Jake Fromm or because he was supremely confident he was better than Fromm and being held back?
Take a look at what each did in 2019 and then decide.
Fields is an intense and determined player that is going to put in the work to maximize all his potential, and I can’t wait to watch it play out over the next several years in the Windy City.
This embed below is a quick clip from the SB Nation NFL Podcast when they were breaking down the NFC Draft classes, and with Fields being such a topical selection they spent some time discussing him being picked by the Bears.
That segment was what motivated me to write this article.
Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton has some concerns about Fields’ and the Bears, so give the 7 minute clip a him a listen as he, and Rob “Stats” Guerrera from Niners Nation and Blogging the Boys’ RJ Ochoa, all talk about Chicago’s new QB.
When ever they have Bears-centric discussions they share it on our Podcast channel, but it’s also one of my go-to channels to listen about the NFL.
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- Monday - Monday Football Monday (RJ Ochoa, Pete Sweeney, Michael Kist)
- Tuesday - Off Day Debrief (Brandon Lee Gowton, Rob “Stats” Guerrera)
- Wednesday - Palpably Unfair Podcast (Kyle Posey, Kate Magdziuk)
- Thursday - The Look Ahead (RJ Ochoa, Rob “Stats” Guerrera)
- Friday - Football Cheat Sheet (Jeanna Thomas Kelly, Kate Magdziuk, Kyle Posey)