Justin Fields Hopes New Bears Coaches 'Tailor the Plays to My Skill Set'April 20, 2022
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is aiming to find a comfort zone in the offense being installed by new head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
"I hope that they will just tailor the plays to my skill set, which we're going to do," Fields told reporters Tuesday. "So just finding out what I do best, what we do best as an offense, what we do best as a team, and run that offense."
The 2021 first-round pick put together some highlight-reel moments as a rookie, but his overall numbers across 12 games (10 starts) were underwhelming.
Fields completed 58.9 percent of his throws for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He added 420 rushing yards and two scores on the ground, but he fumbled 12 times, five of which resulted in a loss of possession.
The 23-year-old Ohio State product ranked last among 31 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN's Total QBR and received a lackluster 64.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
Finding a way to turn Fields' raw dual-threat talent into consistent NFL production is the single biggest task facing Eberflus, Getsy and the rest of the offensive staff.
As he showed with the Buckeyes in 2019, when he threw 41 touchdown passes and just three interceptions, he's at his best when operating from the pocket while using the ground game as an escape mechanism when under pressure. It makes him more similar to Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen than Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts from a stylistic standpoint.
Fields is confident the lessons learned during his up-and-down debut campaign will help him in 2022.
"I have a lot more knowledge now," he said Tuesday. "Going through a whole season, you learn a lot of things and you start incorporating things in your routine to make you a better football player."
The question is whether there's enough talent around him in the passing game to truly thrive. The Bears' top three targets are penciled in as wide receivers Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle along with tight end Cole Kmet.
Chicago doesn't own a first-round pick in the 2022 draft but has two selections in the second round. Using one of them on a receiver would be a step in the right direction.
All told, Fields has the skill set to develop into a Pro Bowl-level quarterback, but it's going to take an offense more tailored to his strengths and more big-play weapons around him in the coming years.