Justin Fields has players and coaches saying the darnedest things.
And frankly, a pair of quotes from last week’s OTAs had me hyped:
Bears WR Darnell Mooney says he was “smiling mid-route” on a pass from Justin Fields.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 9, 2021
— Kaitlin Sharkey (@KRoseSharkey) June 9, 2021
But as we move into the mandatory attendance phase of OTAs, I’d like to see clean-up in one particular area.
Tucked away in Adam Jahns’ piece at The Athletic after last week’s round of OTAs was a tidbit about how Fields mishandled consecutive snaps on the QB-center exchange. The dropped snaps pushed Head Coach Matt Nagy to switch centers. And suddenly, I found myself back thinking about the challenges young quarterbacks have to overcome to get to where they want.
Before they tackle coverages, exotic blitzes, and schemes, getting a handle on one of football’s most basic duty should be at the top of a QB’s to-do list. And I imagine it will be as this week (and summer) progresses. This might take some reps to get it down, but it generally passes in due time. Remember, Mitchell Trubisky had issues as late as training camp in handling the center-snap exchange. Those issues never really popped up during his playing career. It’s just the other stuff that … you know, we don’t really need to go down that road right now.
Much like it was the case for Trubisky, this wasn’t wholly unexpected from Fields. Quarterbacks taking the step from college to the pros have issues with the under-center snap exchange from time-to-time. Properly making the transition from getting the ball out of shotgun to doing so with your hands up close under the center isn’t always going to be smooth. Remember, Fields is working in a new offense and with a new center. Also, we’re only now entering mandatory OTAs. The Bears aren’t even at the trading camp phase. So, while I’m not worried about these hiccups, it sure would be nice to hear progress being made here when reporters share their nuggets later in the week.