Despite having the NFL’s worst record in 2022, there’s plenty of optimism around the Chicago Bears ahead of the 2023 season. A huge reason for that optimism is at quarterback, with dual-threat dynamo Justin Fields entering his third season.
After Wednesday’s training camp practice, Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney — Fields’ top target the past two years — was asked by the media at Halas Hall if he’s noticed any difference in Fields this training camp.
Mooney went to Fields’ knowledge of the playbook and command of the two-minute drill as huge areas of growth.
Bears WR Darnell Mooney told reporters that QB Justin Fields has the playbook down now.
“We’ll do a two minute drill and he’ll call the plays himself. That’s something that he wasn’t able to do last year.” pic.twitter.com/2TO9Y7BATc
— Arye Pulli (@AryePulli) August 2, 2023
“I would say within the playbook, there’s no confusion there at all. [Fields is] just, ‘I know where I want to go with the ball. I know where this play is designed for. I know the coverage that I want to get this done in. Even during walkthroughs, he will do a two-minute drill, and he’s calling the plays himself. That’s something that he wasn’t able to do last year for sure. Just because he’s learning… This year he’s doing that; he’s taking control of everything.”
Fields had a record-breaking second season as a rusher, with 1,143 rushing yards (7.1 AVG) and eight touchdowns.
But Fields and the Bears need to make big strides in the passing game. The additions of star wide receiver D.J. Moore — to go with 2022 in-season wide receiver acquisition Chase Claypool getting more comfortable — and rookie right tackle Darnell Wright certainly help things on paper. It seems that Fields is making necessary improvements with the playbook and grasp of the offense as well.