Fields offers honest evaluation of Bears' offensive progress originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST – June usually is a time for optimism in the NFL. For rose-colored visions no matter the franchise.
Justin Fields delivered a dose of reality Tuesday at Halas Hall following the Bears' first practice of mandatory minicamp.
"Uh, no. I'm not ready for the season to start," Fields said Tuesday. "I'm the type of guy that would like to know I'm prepared. So, right now, I'm just being honest, we're not ready to play a game right now. And when that time comes, we will be ready, so, right now, no, not ready to play a game."
Tuesday was another rough practice for the Bears' offense. Fields was picked off twice and endured a rough three-play stretch near the end of the session in which he threw a pick-six to Jaylon Johnson, had a pass batted down, and another fall incomplete.
However, Fields did find a few chunk plays to Equanimeous St. Brown and Darnell Mooney. The second-year quarterback felt he and the offense had a decent day overall as they continue to learn Luke Getsy's system.
"I think it went all right, of course," Fields said, evaluating his day. "Right now, they're throwing a lot at us. They're pretty much throwing the whole playbook at us, which is good right now, but of course, there's going to be mistakes, but we'd rather have the mistakes come right now than later in the fall or camp, so they were just talking about how pretty much right now they're just putting a lot on us which is good.
"So, we're learning everything and learning from our mistakes and stuff like that. It's definitely … I think it went well. I mean, of course, it could have went better, but that's what tomorrow's for."
Head coach Matt Eberflus noted how early in the install the offense is. The Bears will break after the next two days of minicamp, and Fields is focusing on building a rapport with his receivers and finetuning his mechanics.
Despite the Bears' current offensive issues, Fields remains confident in what the unit can be once they get up to speed. To Fields, the potential is there.
"With the concepts that we have, with the players we have, I think everybody's catching on pretty quick," Fields said. "Like I said, they're throwing a lot at us right now, so, as long as we can manage to do everything right, or do most of everything right and not make the same mistake again, I think we'll be just fine when that time comes around."
Helping boost Fields' confidence in the offense's potential is his bond with Getsy, who is doing everything in his power to get everyone up to speed and comfortable in the offense.
"He's a smart coach. He's as cool as the other side of the pillow," Fields said of Getsy. "He's just awesome. He's always willing to make videos for us and make everything for everybody on the offense way easier, whether it's making install videos for us to look at home. He's always going the extra mile to make sure everybody else is good for the next day. I love him, and he's definitely a great guy."
It's only June, so Fields and the offense have time to get comfortable and settle in. But they don't have that much time. Training camp will be here in less than two months, with a Week 1 date against the San Francisco 49ers soon to follow.
At the moment, it appears Fields and the Bears' offense have a big mountain to climb to be fully operational when the 49ers roll into town on Sept. 11. That journey starts and ends with Fields mastering a system built to take advantage of what he does best.
"I think, for me, it's just not making the same mistake twice," Fields said. "If you make that one mistake on a play, just don't do it again. If you ultimately keep getting better and keep growing, it'll be less mistakes each and every day, and of course, you'll be right where you want to be."
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