Bears QB Plans to ‘Take Over’ NFL

Bears QB Plans to 'Take Over' NFL
Jun 8, 2022; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports.

In 2021, Chicago Bears passer Justin Fields became only the second 1st-Round quarterback in the last 35 years to throw fewer than eight touchdowns in his rookie season while starting at least 10 games.

The other man was Mitchell Trubisky, who also played for the Bears for four seasons.

Still, Fields seeks to “take over” the league, although the timetable is unclear.

Darnell Mooney, the Bears #1 wide receiver, said to ESPN about Fields this week, “He wants to take over the league. He’s already Justin Fields. He wants to be the best quarterback in the league. He’s taken the stride to be there. I got unbelievable faith that he will be there, and his success is my success. So, as long as he’s doing good, I’m doing good, we’re all doing good.”

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports.

Fields had a rocky maiden voyage, joining Chicago after a trade with the New York Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bears traded a 2021 1st-Round pick, a 2022 1st-Round pick, a 2021 5th-Round pick, and a 2022 4th-Round pick for the 11th pick that netted Fields. For the Giants, those picks turned into Kadarius Toney (WR), Evan Neal (OT), and Daniel Bellinger (TE).

Inside the rough first season for Fields, he finished as the NFL’s third-worst passer, only besting Zach Wilson and Sam Darnold in a combined Pro Football Focus, ESPN’s QBR, and Passer Rating metric. But Fields is obviously young and can change the narrative with a solid sophomore season.

Vikings fans were extremely interested in Fields during the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Draft. Some Vikings enthusiasts were ready to neuter the Kirk Cousins experiment, endorsing a trade up the draft ladder to land Fields’ services. Rumors suggested former general manager Rick Spielman may have called the Carolina Panthers about a deal for Fields, but Spielman also could have been interested in tackle Rashawn Slater who later landed with the Los Angeles Chargers [and thrived].

Back in November, Bleacher Report‘s Brent Sobleski called the Vikings decision not to trade up for Fields the team’s “most boneheaded decision” of the year.

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith (91) forces a fumble by Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Fields, personally, is a little less grandiose about his 2022 prognosis. During June minicamp, Fields was asked if he was ready for the season to begin, and he humbly replied, “Uh, no. I’m not ready for the season to start. 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.”

The Bears will embark on Year Two with Fields featuring a new general manager, head coach, and diminished roster. The Bears lost Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Danny Trevathan, Tarik Cohen, Jimmy Graham, Tashaun Gipson, and Jason Peters, among others, this offseason.

The Bears were 2-8 (.200) with Fields at the helm in 2021.

The Vikings play the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 5. It will be the first time in the history of U.S. Bank Stadium that the Vikings haven’t finished their home slate of games in a season against Chicago. The Bears in Minneapolis not-in-the-winter is new.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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