There is no doubt that Bears fans are eager to see Justin Fields as their favorite team’s full-time QB1.
So, naturally, it’s fun to see updates from camp about Fields working with the first-team offense or against the first-team defense. It brings new life to the day. An exhilarating feeling that allows you to dream on a brighter tomorrow. More importantly, there exists real football value in those moments. Especially if you believe that the “steel sharpens steel” adage can apply to football. Going up against Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith, and the rest of the gang can callous a quarterback. And that is a good thing. It can help him build an internal clock, and allow him to gauge himself against the best of the best in a low-pressure learning environment.
But we also need to keep context in perspective.
Andy Dalton continues to get a vast majority of first-team reps, as expected. There have been moments — 1-2 reps, maybe a handful at most — when Fields has been given first-team offensive reps. I will say, for the sake of clarity, there have been a number of drills in which Fields has been throwing to first-team offensive players.
Throws to Darnell Mooney, Allen Robinson, and Jimmy Graham come to mind.
But to be clear, those aren’t really first-team reps. They are just drills. And there is a clear difference between first-team reps and participating in drills with first-team players. Don’t get me wrong. I’m digging seeing Fields get an opportunity to build a rapport with players we hope to see him throwing to later this season. But it’s not as if Fields is getting a ton of work with the first team. Certainly not enough to move the needle. Not yet, at least.
In the end, we’ll all continue to watch Fields in whatever he does at practice because he is the hottest thing smoking at Bears camp. Well, that and Staley’s dance moves.