Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields spoke to Matt Harmon & Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler on Radio Row at Super Bowl LVII about how his running game took off this season. Justin joined Yahoo Sports on behalf of Marriott Bonvoy.
MATT HARMON: Justin, I feel like right around-- maybe it was after week six, week seven, that TNF game against the Washington Commanders. It felt like from that point on, you kind of became more a vocal part of the Bears rushing game. Was that, like, a collaborative approach with you and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy? Or how did that kind of come about?
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah, I think so. And of course, last year was his first year being an offensive coordinator. So not many people think this, or think of this perspective. But he has to learn what we did well as an offense-- what our offensive line did well, what our running backs did well, and what our receivers did well.
So, I mean, you have to go through preseason training camp and kind of just get a feel out in the game on how that is. And of course, after that Thursday Tonight Football game, like you said, we kind of got into a roll, scoring 30 points a game and stuff like that. So, I mean, it was awesome to see that. So hopefully, next year, we just hope to start fast like that, and be able to maintain it throughout the whole year.
AUSTIN EKELER: You know, it's one of the most annoying things, I think, when I'm on the sideline, and we're playing a team and they have a mobile quarterback like Justin. And everyone's locked down, and then all of a sudden, you guys take off.
JUSTIN FIELDS: We just throw it down, yeah.
AUSTIN EKELER: I'm like, god, like, can we-- and there's only one 1,000-yard rusher on set today.
MATT HARMON: Spoiler alert. It's not me.
AUSTIN EKELER: And it's not me, either. This man's getting it done. So good stuff, man. Heck yeah.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Appreciate you, bro.
AUSTIN EKELER: No doubt.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, it's literally just math, right? Like, you don't even need to be a football expert to know, like, when a quarterback can run like that, it changes the math for the defense. We've got a guy in the Super Bowl, Jalen Hurts, who's kind of cut from that same cloth-- that, man, you can have the right answer for the receivers. You can have the right answer for the running game. And then yeah, third down, the quarterback takes off. It's--
AUSTIN EKELER: Legs come alive, man.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah, for sure, for sure.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, what does he say? Brandon Staley says that in the--
AUSTIN EKELER: Yeah, yeah, yeah-- he always says the legs come alive-- the quarterbacks' legs come alive in the red zone. But his red zone is the entire field, man. He's just running. And not just running it, but making dudes miss-- like, athletic man. So I'm excited to see your career progress, man.
JUSTIN FIELDS: I appreciate you guys.
AUSTIN EKELER: Yeah, for sure.
MATT HARMON: Justin, we talk a lot of fantasy football here on "Ekeler's Edge." Austin's really into the fantasy community, engaging with folks out there. Let me tell you what. When you get a quarterback rushing for 1,000 yards, that's a good thing in fantasy.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah.
MATT HARMON: Did you get a lot of engagement from folks this year. What was your experience with the fantasy community?
JUSTIN FIELDS: I did. Of course, on social media, I got a lot of mentions, got a lot of tags, whatever, comments, saying that I saved their fantasy team. So I was happy to do that. I'm happy to put up some points for them.
And I think early in the year, I wasn't doing that. But of course, middle of season to the end of the season, I was putting up points for all the fantasy owners out there that have me on their team. So that was awesome to do and awesome to see them win their fantasy leagues.
AUSTIN EKELER: And let me give you this nugget, because there's a lot of ups and downs how people feel about fantasy. For me, I love fantasy, but not because of, like, I love to play the game and get people, like, oh, I want to win people's games. But because it's the easiest community to tap into that's right in front of us as NFL players-- tap in and be like, hey, appreciate you all fantasy owners once a week. And then boom, they just embrace you. They lift you up on this pedestal, especially when you can produce like yourself in multiple ways.
JUSTIN FIELDS: But the only way the only thing is, when you don't produce like you're supposed to--
AUSTIN EKELER: So you've got to look-- you've got to lead.
For sure. Look, you got to look through the--
MATT HARMON: Toxicity.
AUSTIN EKELER: Toxicity. There you go. You got to look through that, because for the most part, it's people trying to support you because they're rooting for you.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah.
AUSTIN EKELER: Because they got-- they're invested in you-- literally.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah.
AUSTIN EKELER: But yeah, you can't get too invested. Just keep it from a 10,000 foot view. I appreciate everyone that's appreciated me.
JUSTIN FIELDS: For sure.
AUSTIN EKELER: Absolutely
JUSTIN FIELDS: I'm the same way.
MATT HARMON: Probably 80% good, 20% bad?
AUSTIN EKELER: Depends on the week.
MATT HARMON: Depends on the week.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Depends on the week. So.
MATT HARMON: Hey you're here on behalf of Marriott Bonvoy. Tell us a little bit about what you got going on.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah, so Marriott Bonvoy, I got a chance last week to get together with a couple and kind of style them with three outfits for this week and this weekend. One of the outfits was their airport outfit getting here, and the second one was for the NFL Honors last night, and the third one was for the Super Bowl. And there's a courtyard house party. So, I mean, it was cool, getting together with them and being able to share that moment with them.
And Marriott Bonvoy, they've been allowing access to members to NFL events since 2016. So I really just kind of started getting involved with that last year. So, I mean, it's been awesome, just getting to know everybody.
And if you're a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can sign up or try to get into events. I think the website's moments.marriottbonvoy.com. I think that's the website. But yeah, if you guys are a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can try to get in those events for sure.
MATT HARMON: Well, hey, Justin, really appreciate your time today, man. This was awesome. We're rooting for you in year two, and maybe another 1,000-yard season here.
JUSTIN FIELDS: I hope I don't have to run that much. But--
MATT HARMON: That would be nice, Right that would be nice.
JUSTIN FIELDS: For sure. Appreciate it.
AUSTIN EKELER: You get it done either way, man. That's what matters.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah.
AUSTIN EKELER: Heck yeah, man. Thanks for coming on, brother.
JUSTIN FIELDS: Yeah. I appreciate you guys.
MATT HARMON: Appreciate your time, man.