Justin Fields Goes Deep For the First Time

Bears rookie hits rookie receiver Dazz Newsome with a long ball behind the coverage in first practice at rookie minicamp.
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Rookie Chicago Bears receiver Dazz Newsome slipped behind the secondary Friday and the ball arrived on a line far downfield.

Justin Fields had thrown his first deep ball for a touchdown in practice. 

Fields made his debut in a Bears uniform at rookie minicamp and had his ups and downs but one person who didn't see a lot of it was the one who needs to see it most, and that's coach Matt Nagy. Due to a coronavirus quarantine because a family member tested positive, Nagy is doing the first two days of the three-day camp remotely.

"I do think it's a really good reminder to all of us that the virus is obviously still very real," Nagy said after practice. "And hopefully more and more of us will continue to go out and get our vaccines.

"I'm actually in the middle of mine right now. I've had my first shot and will be getting my second shot here in the near future."

Fields was still able to impress Nagy with his arm and even with his command of the huddle because assistant coach Kyle Childress carried around an iPad and gave his boss a live feed from field level.

"It wasn't quite HD. It was a little blurry," Nagy said. "But at the same time, I was able to tell whether it was a good play or not."

Nagy even able to see Fields giving instructions like someone who has been in the offense a while.

"There was a play today where we had him in the air, in the route based on the coverage the defense gave us, and I thought it was pretty cool that already on Day 1 Justin was going over and in a coachable and teachable way was explaining to that player, 'Hey, they changed rotation-wise. Next time that happens you have to run this route instead of that route,' " Nagy said. "Day 1, that's pretty good. 

"Those are the types of things that us as a coaching staff we have to say, 'OK, where's he at right now? What's his bottom ground, what's his base?' And once we know what his base foundation is then we can start to build off that. Then it's just going to be how fast he can learn."

The ultimate for Fields would be starting the opener, but right now the team has said Andy Dalton is QB1.

"I think everybody on our team should be striving for the starting job," Fields said. "If you're not, then there's no reason for you to be here.

"Of course I'm going to do everything I can to get that starting job. It's not up to me. Coach Nagy he has a set plan on my development and stuff like that. I'm just gonna work hard and keep my head down and keep grinding out there every day."

As he grinds, he's not being overwhelmed by the playbook.  Fields said it's not more complicated than the Ohio State offense.

"I would say it's probably the same," Fields said. "The only different thing about our offense is that at Ohio State we did signals from the sidelines so actually getting in the huddle and calling the play out is the only different thing."

If there's one stumbling block, it's the same thing other passers often cite.

"I think it's just the terminology NFL teams use, that we use, just getting used to that," Fields said. "Just getting used to the play calls and the players and stuff like that but I think that is going to come along with time and I'll get used to that as time flies by."

If there were problems immediately for Fields, Nagy didn't see too many.

"I thought he seemed super calm," Nagy added. "Everything, a lot of times in these camps things seem a thousand miles per hour and it didn't seem that way from where I was.

"The ball did not touch the ground very much in the reps that he had passing the football, so that part was good."

This calmness didn't necessarily surprise Nagy, though, because he said he's seen Fields doing this type of thing throughout his college career.

"A lot of that is just DNA," Nagy said. "It's what you believe in, it's what you've known, it's what you've done your whole life."

Not everything was perfect.

"Mistakes are gonna happen as a rookie," Fields said. "It’s just learning from those mistakes and getting better each and every day. And just progressing."

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