Bears quarterback Justin Fields had a breakout year with the Bears in his second season, where he established himself as one of the league’s most exciting young players.
Fields flashed his star potential with his elite athleticism and speed, rushing for 1,143 yards, nearly breaking Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record. While Fields still has some work to do as a passer, this season was a big step forward for the former first-round pick.
But more than the improvement on the football field was Fields’ coming into his own as a leader of this team. It’s something new Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren knew before Fields ever took a snap in Chicago.
Fields and Warren crossed paths during their time in the Big Ten, including during the COVID year when Fields organized a petition to help get football restarted.
And it was that experience in 2020 that showed Warren that Fields was a great leader, which is exactly what the Bears need.
“What that told me about Justin is that he’s passionate,” Warren said. “My whole goal was trying to keep players safe. I appreciated him being able to take that leadership role. I called him on draft day and I was ecstatic that he got drafted by the Bears because that’s what you need from a leadership standpoint.
“I have the greatest amount of respect for him because I know he’s gonna do everything he possibly can with the talent that he has to be a leader. He wants to win championships. Those are the people that I want, because if someone was not upset about [not] playing, then I really would be concerned. I know if I was in the Big Ten and someone did what I did, yeah, I would’ve led a revolt to be able to play, because that’s how passionate I was to take advantage of it. So I think that’s great.”
We’ve seen Fields really come into his own as a leader this season, where in a 3-14 season, he rallied his guys and set the standard. Even as the losses mounted, there was no quit in Fields, or his team. We even saw Fields step in and talk things through with receiver Chase Claypool, who had an outburst during a Week 17 blowout against the Lions.