Chicago Bears rookie Justin Fields shared a message of thanks following his first year in the NFL.
"Shout out to my family, friends, and teammates for helping me get through Year 1," he wrote on Twitter. "Everything happens for a reason and it’s all just a small part of the journey. The best is yet to come."
Justin Fields @justnfields
Shout out to my family, friends, and teammates for helping me get through Year 1. Everything happens for a reason and it’s all just a small part of the journey. The best is yet to come. 💫 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AGTG?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AGTG</a> <a href="https://t.co/W5gi497NKI">pic.twitter.com/W5gi497NKI</a>
Fields had an up and down debut campaign. In 10 games, he threw for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 58.9 percent of his passes.
The 2021 first-round pick seemed to get better as the year went on. In his first six starts, he averaged 153.3 passing yards and threw for three touchdowns and six interceptions. He averaged 219.8 yards and had four touchdowns to three interceptions over his final four starts.
An ankle injury kept Fields off the field in Weeks 16 and 17, and he missed Chicago's season finale loss to the Minnesota Vikings after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Looking forward, the firings of head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace have provided some fans with some optimism about the general direction of the franchise. With regard to Fields in particular, the young passer should benefit from a coach who has a better idea of how to play to his strengths.
Mark Potash @MarkPotash
I’m dubious of hot coordinators like Brian Daboll, who have little or no success with mediocre QBs and strike gold w/ Josh Allen. But the Bears have a comparable prospect in Justin Fields. It’s not like they’d be asking him to fix Jay Cutler or do something he hasn’t done before.
Fields' arrival was met with enthusiasm among a fanbase desperate to see a true franchise quarterback in the Windy City. The 22-year-old didn't live up to that label in 2021 but did enough to warrant more time.
Plenty will be eagerly awaiting what Fields has in store in his second campaign.