Justin Fields Rumors: Bears 'Want a True Alpha' and 'Love' QB's Comments at MinicampMay 15, 2021
The Chicago Bears have reportedly been impressed with the initial confidence of quarterback Justin Fields, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, during rookie minicamp this week.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler provided an update on Fields and the Bears on Saturday's SportsCenter:
"His comment this week that said, 'I'm built for this kind of challenge,' they love that. They want a true alpha; a guy who is going to answer the bell at every stop. He did that in the Clemson game last year at Ohio State, five-star quarterback in high school, and so, they're just going to give him as much as he can handle. They like that he's coming off of the 11th overall pick where he fell in the draft a little bit, they believe that will give him an edge.
"This team thinks they can win with Andy Dalton, with a defense and capable ball-control offense, but if this guy comes along as fast as they think he might be able to, he can be in the lineup sooner than later."
Fields was on track to become a top-five pick for most of the college football season, and there was some thought he could challenge Trevor Lawrence for the top spot after throwing six touchdowns in Ohio State's upset win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Instead, he ended up sliding outside the top 10 as he watched Lawrence go first to the Jacksonville Jaguars, BYU's Zach Wilson land with the New York Jets at No. 2 and North Dakota State's Trey Lance become the choice of the San Francisco 49ers at No. 3.
Chicago couldn't pass up on the opportunity to land a potential franchise quarterback, so it made a trade with the New York Giants to acquire the No. 11 pick.
The Bears already had Andy Dalton on the roster as their presumptive starter under center, but Fields made it clear Friday he's going to put up a fight for the starting job.
"I think everybody on our team should be striving for a starting job and if you're not, then there's no reason for you to be here. So, of course, I'm going to do everything that I can to get that starting job," Fields told reporters. "It's not up to me, coach Nagy has a set plan on my development and stuff like that. I'm just gonna work hard and keep my head down and just keep grinding it out everyday. "
The 22-year-old Georgia native added the burden that comes with trying to become Chicago's long-awaited answer at quarterback doesn't faze him, leading to the comment Fowler noted caught the team brass' attention.
"I've been kinda in the spotlight since high school, so I kinda feel like I'm made for this," Fields said. "I'm built for this. It's nothing new to me, I'm just gonna continue to work hard and continue to get better every day."
He's not going to win or lose the starting QB job during a rookie minicamp, and Dalton is probably still the favorite to start Week 1 with the Bears having told the veteran he'd be the starter if he signed there as a free agent, but so far it sounds like the former Buckeyes standout is doing and saying all the right things.
Looking ahead, it would be a surprise if he doesn't take over the Chicago offense at some point during the 2021 season, and it's impossible to totally discount him starting the Sept. 12 opener against the Los Angeles Rams.