Bears' Justin Fields impresses coaches with work ethic, focus

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What Bears OC learned about Fields over first half originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

NFL coaches put so much work and study into their draft selections that it seems they know everything about them by the time they finally arrive in the team building for rookie minicamp. When that draft pick is a first-round quarterback, that work and study is probably increased tenfold. But even with all that preparation, coaches still learn things about their rookies once they finally get to work with them day in and day out.

The thing Bill Lazor has learned about Justin Fields is that in addition to all his raw talent, he’s a grinder.

“He’s willing to work, and appears to be happy to work at it and grind at it,” Lazor said.

Lazor said that Fields has remained focused every day at Halas Hall. He does things that prove he’s staying engaged outside of the building too, like asking specific questions about film he’s watched in his off time.

While that may seem like a given for an NFL quarterback, Lazor said it’s more draining than one might imagine.

“The job that the quarterback has is mentally exhausting,” Lazor said. “From the time that he walks in the building, you know he’s always getting coached. And even if he’s not with the coaches, he’s with the players and Cole Kmet or Allen Robinson wants to ask him a question about a route, and it never stops mentally. Between periods, when the defense is going, coach Nagy might grab him and talk about something. I might. Coach Flip might. Or he goes on the other field with the tight ends and throws a couple of fades.

“It just never stops. So some guys just can’t. They have to shut it down. Then they just zone off or whatever, but he’s just stayed glued in and worked at it.”

The NFL season is significantly longer than a college football season, so Fields’ focus will be put to the test in the second half. But so far, his coaches like what they’ve seen.

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