First impressions can make or break a relationship.
Get off on the right foot, and it could be the start of something special. Stumble out of the gates, and there could be hell to pay sooner or later.
And when it comes to Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, the vibes are strong as it feels as if QB1’s relationship with the team’s new brass is off to a strong start. And it begins with making a strong first impression.
Take this anecdote from ESPN’s Dan Graziano as an example of the folks in the Bears power structure being all-in on Fields:
Chicago’s coaches and decision-makers to whom I spoke are fired up about second-year quarterback Justin Fields. No, Ryan Poles isn’t the general manager who drafted him and Matt Eberflus wasn’t the coach when he was drafted No. 11 overall, but the new regime is saying all good things about Fields, the way he works, his intelligence, his presence (on the field and in the huddle) and his raw talent. The Bears believe they have the right young quarterback to build around.
On the surface, it’s easy to categorize this as a preseason fluff hype. But this sticks with me because Graziano isn’t the first to come through with this angle.
When analyzing the second-year quarterbacks stepping onto the field this summer, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote: “I’m told the Bears are happy with Fields’ development this offseason, with better mechanics (quicker release) and some improvement in throwing on the move. The Bears are excited for offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system, which should give Fields more space to operate.”
That’s an encouraging sign.
At minimum, I think we can put to rest the narrative that the powers that be at Halas Hall have it out for Fields. Or that the Poles-Eberflus regime doesn’t believe in him.
Maybe things will change when Fields plays. But for now, it seems as if Fields has a clean slate and the backing of bosses who believe in the talent he possesses. It isn’t a make-or-break year for Fields, but today represents a first step away from past chatter and (hopefully) toward a better future.