Justin Fields has made several dazzling plays in his short tenure as Bears starting quarterback. He’s escaped the pass rush for big gains on the ground, he’s fit balls into tiny windows for touchdowns and he’s shown great finesse on deep balls. But one of his most impressive playmaking features is something that might not be quite as spectacular from a “highlight reel” perspective: the ability to throw accurately while running to the left.
“He’s very comfortable doing it,” Matt Nagy said. “Some guys aren’t. And some guys aren’t, even as righties, as comfortable throwing to the right. But he has a touch. He has an accuracy right now that he’s shown in big-time moments to be able to do that. Again, none of it’s really intentional, it’s just kind of happened that way.”
You may ask yourself, why is it so hard for a righty to throw while running to the left? It has to do with the mechanics of making the throw.
“You’re fighting against the direction you’re throwing,” Justin Fields explained succinctly.
Nagy went into a bit more depth as to why it’s more challenging though.
“You’ve got to flip your hips around. You gotta get your shoulder square to your target. That’s harder when you’ve got to flip the whole way around. That’s difficult. It’s not easy when you’re on the run. Again throwing off the wrong foot sometimes. Sometimes when you’re trying to get your hips around, your shoulders around to throw off the wrong foot, it makes you inaccurate. He’s been really accurate in that case.”
It’s no mistake that Fields has had success with these high-difficulty throws however.
“He practices it,” Nagy said. “Coach Flip puts him through a bunch of drills and you just get more and more confidence with it.”
Nagy believes Fields’ background playing baseball is a bit of a secret weapon for being able to pull off these throws, too.
“You see a lot of these guys turning double plays, like a shortstop gets a toss from the second baseman, he’s got to flip his hips and throw to the first baseman — it’s kind of like that.”
As Fields continues to develop in the NFL, he continues to raise the ceiling of the offense. Only time will tell what tricks he may put on display next.