A BN Conversation with Field Yates Pt. 2: How Justin Fields Can Take the Next Step
Justin Fields’ breakout season (2022) was the silver lining on a dark cloud that spent the entire regular season hovering above the Chicago Bears.
But what’s next for Justin?
The obvious answer is to be a better passer. Fields’ gains in processing the game, being aware of what it would take to put the offense in a position to succeed, and playmaking ability were evident throughout the 2022 campaign. However, Fields can still make some strides when it comes to throwing the ball with consistency. And in a recent conversation with ESPN analyst Field Yates, I can see where Fields can take the next step. Because after showing confidence in his throwing ability, the next step is trust, and eventually, steady execution of the offense. If Fields can do that, the sky is the limit.
“He showed some confidence as a thrower and I think that’s where things level up. If Justin Fields becomes a distributor, this team has no ceiling on offense. It’s limitless. One of the tricks of when you are such a gifted athlete as a quarterback is to trust your pocket and not let your instincts break the pocket. … That’s where I think Fields levels up this year. Now that there are better pieces along the offensive line and obviously a vastly improved group of pass-catchers, we get to see if he is the processor I think he can be. And I think that will dictate what the future looks like for this Bears offense. Because in a hurry, they’ve become one of the more formidable groups in the division on offense.”
There are obvious reasons to get excited about the direction of the Bears’ offense. Trading for a stud receiver in D.J. Moore is a strong place to start. But let’s not overlook the additions of tight end Robert Tonyan and running back D’Onta Foreman to bring depth and upside to the offense. And even though right guard Nate Davis wasn’t the offensive lineman on many free-agent wish lists, I’ll never look past an opportunity to bolster the interior offensive line. All in all, upgrading the weaponry around Fields should allow him to have the confidence to sling it from the pocket instead of bailing out to run because his instincts were telling him that was the best way to make a play for the offense.
Let’s be clear and honest with each other. There will be a learning curve. This will be a process. And it certainly won’t be linear. At least, I don’t expect it to be. But you don’t need to squint to see where this could be going. It began with last year’s first steps. The next step from there is to grow trust in your teammates. After that, execution. Sometimes, we get lost in the sauce that is star power in the NFL. But we shouldn’t lose sight of how football is a team game. And so many of these pieces are working in conjunction with one another. So much so that if one piece is faulty, the rest will fall apart.
With that being said, the upside sure seems limitless if Fields can harness his skills, athleticism, and processing abilities to get them working in unison. And even though it sounds simplistic, the trek to the next level will begin with trust. Isn’t it always the small things that make the biggest difference? Go figure.
In case you missed Pt. 1, here ya go: