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Bears’ Matt Eberflus believes Justin Fields exudes traits of franchise QB

There was plenty of speculation this offseason involving the future of Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Which had everything to do with the fact that Chicago had the first overall pick.

The Bears ultimately silenced those rumors when they traded the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers before the start of free agency. Instead of drafting his replacement, Chicago positioned itself to build around Fields, including the addition of a No. 1 wide receiver in DJ Moore.

Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances last season — from an offensive line that struggled in pass protection to unreliable pass catchers — Fields still managed to set the league on fire.

Fields established himself and the NFL’s most dangerous running quarterback, which was made both out of necessity and design. Fields became the third quarterback to ever rush for 1,000 yards — he’s second at 1,143 yards — joining the elite company of Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus believes Fields, entering a pivotal third season, has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback for this team.

“I was with him the whole year,” Eberflus told NFL Network’s Judy Battista. “I was in all the quarterback meetings. And I really spent the first year building that relationship with him as a head coach and quarterback. He just showed me grit and, toughness, work ethic, his teammates love him. All the things that come with that position, he exuded those traits for sure.”

While Fields has certainly earned the opportunity to prove he can be the long-term answer at quarterback, he does need to improve as a passer heading into Year 3. The Bears had the worst passing game in the league last season, and there were a number of factors. Be it the offensive line, pass catchers or Fields himself. It’s all a work in progress.

“I think it’s like any position on our team,” Eberflus said. “We all need to grow because we have a young football team. And he’s no different. He just needs to keep working his game. He’s working hard this offseason on his own. Looking at the tape from last year, looking at other quarterbacks, studying other quarterbacks in different situations. Third down, two-minute and all those various situations you get into. And he’s doing a great job at that.”

It’s been difficult to truly evaluate Fields in his first two seasons given the circumstances. But this season should finally give us a chance to do that.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire