There are few things I enjoy as much as when a negative narrative gets busted.
And it appears as if that is what is happening with Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields.
If you’ll recall, Fields faced some pre-draft criticism for his work ethic. The root of this criticism came from ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, who passed along what he was hearing about Fields being a “last guy in, first guy out” type of player. And in turn, Orlovsky took heat from around the football community. All of it was a bit unexpected, to be sure. After all, Fields was a vocal leader in pushing the Big Ten to play football in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic. And yet, because it is out there, it figures to linger because negative narratives can be hard to scrub away once someone takes them and runs with them.
But I think that might change sooner, rather than later:
#Bears GM Ryan Pace tells a story about Justin Fields’ work ethic.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) August 1, 2021
In this year’s episode of his yearly chat with the Hoge and Jahns podcast, Bears GM Ryan Pace relays a story about unexpectedly running into Fields at Halas Hall. It’s not that the quarterback being in the building was surprising. But when Pace ran into his rookie QB, it was a random day in June when he did not figure to see anyone around. Instead, Pace saw a car in the parking lot he didn’t recognize, walks into an empty building, and stumbles across Fields who was just finishing a workout.
Moreover, it’s worth highlighting this isn’t the only recent example of Fields’ work ethic shining through:
Did somebody wanna talk #Bears QBs? While veteran Andy Dalton has been declared the starter, Justin Fields has put together a pretty nice rookie off-season thus far… Report! #NFLNow @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/LRynWiMlyY
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) July 20, 2021
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) June 21, 2021
Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson said on IG Live that "Darnell Mooney is definitely going to ball out this season."
Robinson said QB Justin Fields has a "tremendous work ethic. First one in, last one to leave."
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) June 30, 2021
In the grand scheme of things, these aren’t an earth-moving stories. However, they are nuggets worth sharing as we start to watch Fields’ career progress. These anecdotes are worth noting now, and for a future date. Down the line, we might re-visit this and remember a time when there wasn’t a belief in Fields’ work ethic. And hopefully, Fields will have the last laugh when it’s all said and done.