Justin Fields dismisses meaningless criticism of Bears' offense in camp

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Fields dismisses meaningless criticism of Bears' offense in camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST – We're seven days into training camp, and the criticism of the Bears' offense has already started after a few shaky practices.

Such issues are typical for a young team installing a new system with a relatively new cast of characters. Pre-snap penalties, alignment issues, and communication mishaps all are commonplace. However, Tuesday's practice in which the offense went three-and-out in back-to-back two-minute drills was something of note. It could be the harbinger of things to come or a meaningless blip early in camp.

Nonetheless, it was noteworthy.

The Bears' offense had a much better day Wednesday. Quarterback Justin Fields led a successful 55-yard touchdown drive in the "move the ball" period, hitting Darnell Mooney for a 5-yard score on fourth-and-1. The offense also moved the ball 40 yards in 1:20 seconds to set up a field goal in an end-of-half scenario.

There still were clunky moments. The offensive line continues to have issues as it searches for the right combination, and Fields still is trying to build rapport with receivers not named Mooney and Cole Kmet.

But fair is fair, and Wednesday was a sign of progress.

Fields knows the offense still has a long way to go to get where it wants to be when the San Francisco 49ers come to town in Week 1, but he believes the group is making steady progress in many areas.

As for the early chirping about the Bears' perceived offensive issues, there's a four-letter acronym that perfectly sums up Fields' response.

"I mean, they're not playing, so it doesn't really matter," Fields said Wednesday. "They're not helping us win, so no.

"I mean, we know our offense. We know the plays. We know what's supposed to be going on. I mean, it's hard to have an opinion on something when you don't really know what's going on on the inside, when you're just looking at it from an outside view. Yeah, it's stuff like that.
 
"Of course, they want to see big plays and that, but we're playing situational football. Third-and-4, we're getting the first down, we're not worried about a touchdown at the moment. We're trying to get the first down first and if a touchdown comes out of it, then yeah, that's what it is. That's why you really can't take their opinions into account. They're entitled to have their opinion, but at the end of the day, they don't know what's going on."
 
Running back David Montgomery is happy people are sleeping on the Bears' offense.

"We're good in a lot of positions," Montgomery said. I think people are overlooking that. That's why it's kind of cool to have that, to be overlooked and to know that people are looking at us like we're not capable of being what we think we're capable of. When it gets to that point, you just stop telling people or you just stop talking, and you just show them what you're capable of as opposed to just telling them. Because your words don't do anything, but you showing them does."

That F-U attitude can be a positive for a young Bears team that little is expected of in Year 1 of a rebuild. Perhaps it can fuel them to be greater than the perceived sum of their parts. Perhaps in two weeks' time, the offensive issues will be a thing of the past as the Bears settle in and get more comfortable in their new system.

Or perhaps, an unproven offensive line and an unheralded wide receiver corps will hamper the Bears' ability to craft a formidable offense.
 
At this point, the only clear thing is that the Bears have 39 days to go from the beginning steps of an install to a potent offense. There's not a minute to waste.

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