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LAKE FOREST, Ill. — If Justin Fields is frustrated by the Bears‘ play-calling in their 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers, he’s not showing it.
The second-year quarterback was adamant after the Week 2 defeat that he had no issues throwing only 11 passes and registering 17 dropbacks. He fully trusts the Bears, head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
Fields doubled down on that sentiment Wednesday. He acknowledged that only throwing the ball 11 times could, in theory, hamper his development and growth as an NFL signal-caller. But he’s putting the team first.
“Yeah, maybe,” Fields said when asked if it could harm his development. “But my No. 1 priority in my job is to run the plays like I’m taught to and to execute them to the best of my ability and ultimately win games. If our offensive coordinator thinks the plays he’s given me are going to help us win the game, that’s all I care about.”
In the three days since the loss in Green Bay, the conversation has centered around whether or not the Bears have confidence in Fields to win with his arm.
But the Bears quarterback doesn’t view the low number of dropbacks as a sign he isn’t trusted. Does he want to throw the ball more? Absolutely. But Fields is steadfast in his belief that Getsy has a beat on what the Bears’ offense needs to do to be successful. He, of course, gives his input in offensive meetings. But it’s Getsy’s show.
“I mean, I have a say into what pass plays I like, what concepts I like,” Fields said. “But in terms of when we’re going to call a play, how many passes, how many runs we’re going to call, that’s Luke’s job and everybody in the building knows that Luke knows what he’s doing. We put full trust in him knowing that he’s going to put us in the best position to win.”
On Sunday at Lambeau Field, the Bears trailed by two scores for 35 game minutes. Despite the large deficit, Getsy opted to stick primarily with the run to get the Bears back into the game. David Montgomery was chewing up the Packers’ defense, but in the modern NFL, you have to be able to win through the air.
The running game’s success should also lend itself to more play-action passes, a staple of Getsy’s wide-zone scheme. It’s fair to expect the Bears to run more play-action passes as long as Montgomery runs like a man possessed, but that falls outside Fields’ jurisdiction.
“At the end of the day these guys have been in the league for I don’t know how long,” Fields said when asked if he wants to run more play-action or boot concepts. “They know what they’re doing. None of it’s going to work if I don’t trust it, if the players, ourselves, if we don’t trust the coaches. We trust the coaches. They know what they’re doing. We just go out there and play.”
Eberflus hasn’t seen any frustration from Fields this week. The head coach believes it’s “too early” to know if having Fields attempt a low number of passes hurts the Bears’ ability to fully know what he can do as a quarterback.
While Fields isn’t frustrated with his usage or the Bears’ game plan, the loss to the Packers stung more than any defeat he experienced during his rookie season. After a loss in which the offense made countless mistakes, Fields is changing his routine to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Fields is all about winning. He has the right perspective to handle games in which the Bears don’t ask him to do a lot with his arm. It’s easy to be OK with it when the Bears come out on top, it takes a different kind of player and person to put the team above himself, especially at a crucial point in his development.
“Selflessness,” Fields said when asked how he deals with wanting to help more but not being asked to vs. the Packers. “Knowing that if these are the plays that he thinks are going to win us the game, then I’m all with it. Like I said about Darnell [Mooney] on Sunday, if he caught zero passes and won the game, he wouldn’t have any problem. If I threw zero passes and we won the game, I wouldn’t have any problems.
“Our goal as a team, as an offense, is to win games. Nobody’s looking at how many passes did I have, how many yards did I have. We’re just all trying to win the game.”
Fields should voice his concerns if he has any. This is, after all, his career that’s on the line. Year 2 is typically when quarterbacks make their biggest stride forward from potential to star. It will be hard to do that if he’s only attempting 11 passes a game.
By trusting Eberflus and Getsy to do right by him, Fields is placing his development and future in their hands. At the moment, both sides appear to have complete confidence and trust in the other to turn things around.
That’s vital for a bond at the heart of this rebuild. Without it, nothing will work.
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