There’s only one game left for the Bears this year, and with Justin Fields going on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, there’s a good chance the rookie quarterback’s season is already done. There will be ample time to dissect all his games, the good plays and the bad plays and prognosticate about his future. But for now, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor wants Fields to go into the offseason focused on an intangible.
“I want him to come out of this with confidence,” Lazor said. “I want him to realize that he wasー we were behind against the Steelers in the fourth quarter, and he was able to take the offense down and score. We were behind against the Ravens, and he was able to go down and score. That he was on the big stage of Monday Night Footballー of whatever situation we were in, and was able to perform.”
Lazor realizes that may not sound like a big deal, given Fields is no stranger to playing on big stages. At Ohio State he of course played in “The Game” against Michigan, and played in the College Football Playoff twice, as well.
One thing that Fields experienced in Chicago that he hasn't experienced anywhere else is a long losing streak. Over his two seasons in Columbus, Fields only lost two games: the CFP semifinal against Clemson in 2019, and the CFP championship game against Alabama in 2020.
This year has been a much different story. Fields has only completed 58.9% of his passes for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. On the ground he’s carried the ball 72 times for 420 yards. He has two rushing touchdowns to go with 12 fumbles. Worst of all, the Bears have gone 2-8 in the 10 games he’s started. He hasn’t been on the field for a win since Week 5 against the Raiders.
“We’re all human,” Lazor said. “You get to this point, and now OK, this is my rookie year. Well, I want him to step away and say, yes, just like they were telling me, I can do this. And this is going to be a great story. And use that confidence to kind of propel him into how the future goes.”