LAKE FOREST – Unlike his first season, he reported to training camp on Tuesday with his place on the roster set.
Justin Fields is QB 1, and there’s no disputing it.
Now the focus is on what Fields can do with a season in the National Football League under his belt. He’s got a new head coach (Matt Eberflus) and offensive coordinator (Luke Getsy), who will try to unlock the potential of the talented signal caller who showed flashes of what he could do in his rookie season.
That’s why Fields will be the focus of the Bears both locally and nationally, easily the biggest storyline with a team that in many people’s eyes is rebuilding. Yet on a personal and team level, what’s being said on the outside is meaningless to the quarterback.
Like his rookie season, the goal is simple and direct.
“I’m not really worried about showing the league anything, I’m just worried about winning games. I’m not trying to prove myself to anybody, I’m not trying to do this or that, take opinions into account.,” said Fields. “My job is to win games and, of course, make the playoffs.”
That will be a challenge in 2022 with a Bears team that was reconstructed by general manager Ryan Poles this offseason. There are a number of new offensive linemen and a host of receivers vying for a starting spot, getting a chance to show what they can do in the NFL.
Fields’ success will depend a lot on how quickly they are able to find their place on the offense since wide receiver Darnell Mooney and running back David Montgomery are the only returners with set spots in 2022.
In his first year in the NFL in an offense under Matt Nagy that failed to turn the corner in his tenure in Chicago, Fields completed 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards and seven touchdowns compared to ten interceptions. He rushed for 420 yards with a 5.8 yards per carry average and two scores as well.
He was sacked 36 times on the season and had 12 fumbles, five of which were lost.
Motivation isn’t hard for Fields to find ahead of his second season, which he talked about during his news conference on Tuesday.
“Just my love for the game. I just want to be great. At the end of the day, this is my life, this is what I want to do for as long as I can. This is my job, this is my life,” said Fields. “I don’t know anything else. I’ve been doing this since I was six years old. When you’ve been doing something for so long, you start to love it more and more.
“I love the failures that comes with it. I love everything that comes with it because I know that, at the end of the day, as long as I give my best and I know what I can do. I know once we do reach our full potential, what we’ll be able to do.”
When that happens, then his No. 1 goal as QB No. 1 will be fulfilled.