We all know that Justin Fields is fast. It was one of the top things discussed during draft season, and it was one of the things that popped the most when Fields finally started practicing with the Bears. But apparently he’s one of the fastest players in the league. According to NFL’s Next Gen stats, Fields reached the third-highest speed among all ball carriers across the first week of preseason games.
It is remarkable watching Fields run in a live-game setting. Even against NFL-caliber opponents, he looked like he was moving in a different gear from everyone else on the field. He’s so fast, some of his teammates have joked about his ability.
“I think when he first got here, I asked him, 'What is it like to run 4.4?'” Andy Dalton quipped earlier this month.
That explosiveness is something Matt Nagy is clearly excited about unleashing in his offense too.
“When somebody uses their legs and has the speed that he has that’s a weapon,” Nagy said during mandatory minicamp. “He’s kind of on a different level because there is like the 4.6 number and then there is the 4.4 number, and when you are 4.4 that’s on another level and you are going to outrun everybody really that’s on that field. That scares defensive coordinators.”
One thing that speed can’t do, however, is hasten the time it will take Fields to earn the starting quarterback job. Nagy has been clear that there’s a plan in place for Fields’ development and they’re going to stick to it. That includes him sitting behind Andy Dalton in Week 1.
“Everybody here is super excited about the way that he played today,” Nagy said after the Bears’ preseason game against the Dolphins. “You know, we all want the same thing. We understand the buzz. We understand the excitement. That's why we drafted him, you know what I mean? That's why we drafted him. But there is一 we want to make sure that we continue to go through this thing and we understand the process. This is one game that he came in here, and now the beautiful thing is we get to get more practices in, and get to see how he comes back next week against Buffalo.