Justin Fields, Chicago Bears Offense Have Best Day of Training Camp

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Finally! With fans in attendance on Friday, the Chicago Bears offense put together what was arguably its most complete practice to date. The defense has been leading the way for much of camp. Rookies Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon (who did not practice on Friday) have been the early standouts in the re-tooled secondary.

But Friday saw a different crispness in the execution of the offense that, when combined with the other things we have seen, gives a glimmer of hope that this scheme will (eventually) work.

Offense Joins the Party and Bears Training Camp

Progression Over Perfection

The message on Fields when camp opened was that the second-year passer had better command of the huddle and more confidence. Being the clear-cut starter, as many have pointed out, has gone a long way toward Fields’ development in that regard. Wide receiver Darnell Mooney said one big difference with Fields not having to relay second-hand information.

OTAs and minicamps aside, we have all been waiting to be able to say “there’s QB1” after an awe-inspiring play.

The problem is they have to actually occur first.

It is admittedly hard to determine just how successful they have been going against themselves with very little live tackling even allowed. But offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said on Friday that he likes where the offense is at this point.

“I feel pretty good where we’re at right now. We’re still in the middle of the installation phase, we’re almost to the end of it. So I feel pretty good about where we’re at. These last few practices have been awesome because we’ve done a lot more not-scripted practices…with a young team, we can’t do [situational] stuff enough. All of our operational staff has to improve. But I feel pretty good about where we’re at right now.”

Fields’ progress through the last two weeks of camp has not been linear. He has missed what appear to be some makeable throws and been late on several others.

The Peanut Gallery

Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian said people are “overreacting to practice reps”.

“Football is meant to be played with pads on…it’s a violent, physical game. So we’ll see what we got here the next two weeks going forward getting into some real competition.”

I asked Siemian what kind of things he’s done to help Fields, whom he said has “great resolve” while trying to digest the playbook himself.

“I’m just trying to be a good resource for him. [I’ve] played a little longer than he has. Probably, he does some things that I can’t do…but when he’s got questions or just one thing here or there, I try to step up and give it to him. But he’s a sharp guy, man. He picks up things. Rarely makes the same mistake twice.”

To Siemian’s last point, Fields was better throwing to his left on Wednesday and much better during Friday’s practice hitting several such passes down the field to Mooney and third-year tight end Cole Kmet.

Fields, the former 11th-overall pick admitted that the offense is still a work in progress.

“I think we’re progressing every day. We’re not where we want to be yet, though, for sure.”

Asked what they could get better at, Fields simply said, “Everything”.

Countdown to When it Counts

The Bears will face the Kansas City Chiefs next Saturday. There is still a lot of work to be done between now and then. But, perhaps, the best sign of all has been that Fields has not seemed overwhelmed or even frustrated by the lack of consistent success for his side of the ball. Surely, that is where that resolve Siemian mentioned shows most.

Getsy often talks about “process” with Fields as opposed to results. He has been steadfast in saying that he has seen progress in that regard all along. But, on the whole, they know they are a work in progress.

David Montgomery, Running Backs Set to Lead the Chicago Bears

Still, for at least one day on Friday, Fields looked to be as in command as everyone keeps saying and the offense gave some glimpses of what they hope is to come this season.

There was not a lot of “ooh, ahh” plays. Nor were there many miscues – Getsy noted that Friday’s faster tempo got to some late in the day. But there was a level of consistency in the offense’s execution that had not been there, Fields included.

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