Justin Fields Speaks: Is a Meeting with a Hall of Fame Coming? Work to Do, Shutting Out Trade Talks
Justin Fields’ appearance on with long-time media big-foot Rich Eisen was a treat.
Chicago’s QB1 sprays to all fields (no pun intended) in a wide-ranging interview that tackles a ton of topics. We’ve highlighted a few of them, provided context, depth, and analysis, and are sharing the full interview below.
You’ll want to let it all soak in whenever you get a block of time. But in the meantime, here are some highlights.
Fields knows he has work to do
Anyone with a right-thinking mindset will tell you the Fields we saw in 2022 isn’t a finished product. This isn’t to say he didn’t have a good year. Everyone who sat down and took in Bears football saw Fields grow from last year and show improvements across the board. But, again, this isn’t to say there isn’t work to be done. In fact, even Fields believes he is barely scratching the surface:
“I think I’ve shown a little bit, but I don’t think I’ve shown the world what I can do in terms of playing the full quarterback position and playing it consistently. I think there were some times this year when I was better than others. Like my last game of the season against the Lions, that wasn’t a good game. So just being more consistent for my teammates, for my coaches, for the fan base. Once I do that, once I just keep progressing and keep getting better, then I’ll be good.”
Fields acknowledging he didn’t close the year on a high note is refreshing. Even though I like to throw that Week 17 clunker out the window when I make my assessment of the year that was, Fields lumping it in suggests he gets the big picture. That is admirable, to say the least. But more important than that is Fields sensing that he still has growing to do in terms of playing quarterback to his full potential. It’s almost as if Fields knows he doesn’t want to run for 1,000 yards anymore and that there is more to the position than doing that every week.
Granted, Fields probably already knew that much going into this thing. After all, Fields was one of college football’s best pure passers in his draft class. And his running prowess wasn’t put into action until it was necessary because of the issues Bears blockers were having in pass protection. Plus, receivers failing to get separation also set Fields in motion as a runner. Because throwing into tight windows to wideouts who aren’t open or can’t win more than their fair share of 50-50 balls is a dangerous proposition
Is a meeting with a Hall of Fame on the horizon?
There is something about picking an elder statesman’s mind that can be reassuring and enlightening. And I imagine it is no different when it comes to quarterbacks. Then again, finding an ideal fit for a quarterback Fields can lean on for guidance and wisdom isn’t like picking out potatoes at the grocery store. In the interview with Eisen, Fields said there isn’t someone in the league right now who is a go-to figure when it comes to quarterbacking. But he made mention of a Hall of Fame connection who could be in contact soon thanks to a meeting with Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus.
“Coach Flus just met Steve Young,” Fields said. “So I’m looking forward to getting together with him and talking to him a bit about the quarterback position and about playing quarterback.”
To me, this reads as if Eberflus is going to get Young and Fields to link up. I’m not sure if this was a chance meeting or something that was in the works, but I’m into it. Especially if it results in Fields and Young chopping it up and talking shop.
When asked about specifics regarding what he’d want to gain from chatting with Young, Fields said: “Just everything. The ups and downs. How he played the position. And what his mindset was going into each week and stuff like that.”
The mental game is so important. And I appreciate Fields’ football IQ so much more every time I hear him talk about the game. And even more when hearing him talk about a possible meeting with a Hall of Fame signal-caller.
My pops and I were just talking about how I was struggling to come up with a comp for Fields when it came to watching him on Sundays. Fields plays the game with a flare for excellence with a dash of grittiness. It is an aesthetically pleasing way to play the position, even if it isn’t traditional. Anyway, the names John Elway and Steve Young came up in our conversation. Both were great quarterbacks who could beat defenses with their arms. But they also were superb rushers who put it all on the line to reach the line to gain when they had to tuck it and run. So, yeah, I don’t think I could’ve picked a better one.
Shutting out the trade talks
You’ve heard hot air blowing about the Bears possibly trading Fields. I’ve heard it, too. Some of it has been so ridiculous, I found myself seeing it as necessary to write about it (even in its most outlandish moments). Fields has also heard it. But he is handling it so well. His response to Eisen asking if he would be ready to answer questions about if he is ready to be the Bears’ QB1 in 2023 it is a masterclass in media savvy:
“I mean, I am. I think they’ve already been saying that. How I look at it is just controlling the controllable. No matter what happens with me, I can control what I can control. And that’s how I approach the game. That’s how I train for the game, and how I carry myself within the game. It’s just those three aspects to where I have to look myself in the mirror and say what can I control and it is what it is. Now is a time where I’ve been trying to grow personally, spiritually, as a quarterback. I’ve grown a lot these last few weeks this last offseason”
That was so smoooooth. Confident. Compelling. And he is our quarterback. Delightful.
For the full interview with Rich Eisen, the video can be seen below: