As we inch closer to the regular season, the Chicago Bears continue to see the same storylines written about them.
Second-year quarterback Justin Fields does not have enough weapons around him. He doesn’t have the necessary protection in front of him.
General manager Ryan Poles has simply not done enough to put Fields in position to succeed.
Say what you want, but all of those statements can be considered very valid. However, that will not deter Fields from possessing the utmost confidence in himself and his teammates.
ESPN’s Courtney Cronin sat down with the quarterback in an interview that’s airing on Sportscenter this week, but she shared a few snippets ahead of time, and Fields’ mentality seems as locked-in as you can possibly get.
Don’t tell Justin Fields that the Chicago Bears don’t have enough talent, because he’ll tell you otherwise.
Cronin asked Fields if there ever seems to be a shadow of doubt that enters his mind during times like last season, when things don’t go the right way.
“I think there’s doubt if you listen to other people’s opinions. I’ve been through stuff like this before, so it really doesn’t phase me.”
Cronin also talked about the labels put on the Bears this season, with the narrative being that the team hasn’t put enough talent around him going into the year. Fields responded by saying this:
”I think we have a lot of hidden pieces in our offense that a lot of people underestimate, so that’s fine with us being underestimated.”
We have seen instances of this before in sports, where teams are put together with guys who may have been cast-offs or labeled “busts,” and many times it doesn’t come together for them.
But, there is something about the way Matt Eberflus leads these men. There is something about the culture, attitude and overall mentality of this team which may lead to Fields being proven correct.
Sure, the initial roster features guys like Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe — all of whom can be considered “not good enough” to stick around and be an integral part of an NFL offense.
St. Brown never caught on in Green Bay. Pettis had a lot of hype coming into the league but quickly fell out of favor in San Francisco. Sharpe, meanwhile, has never been more than a third or fourth option.
Yet, over the course of the preseason and training camp, we’ve seen Fields really gel with these guys. St. Brown developed a quick bond with Fields during camp. Pettis seemed to be a favorite target during the preseason. And, Sharpe came up with a couple of nice grabs during the preseason as well. All three of them could definitely contribute this year if given the opportunity, if Fields has his way.
The Bears have already been written off for 2022, and maybe they won’t end up with a dynamic, winning record. However, Fields’ leadership under Eberflus should lead to a much more competitive ball club this season. You can count on that.