Perhaps it's more than ironic but Tuesday at Meijer Bears Family Fest the play Justin Fields made to draw the biggest roar from the crowd was not his long completion near the goal line to Rodney Adams over Thomas Graham Jr.
It was when Fields took pass rush pressure off the edges and a little in front, stepped up and then picked his way through the defense at rapid speed on a scramble for about 20-25 yards.
The irony? For years the Bears had quarterbacks who couldn't pass and they've had a few who could run, like the guy who wore jersey No. 10. But everyone complained. Now they have one who can pass but decides to run and they cheer him.
That's messed up.
Still, Fields' legs are a real weapon and coach Matt Nagy has reminded everyone of that 4.4-second speed since rookie camp.
"That scares defensive coordinators," Nagy said.
Fields is looking forward to running a little bit in preseason but not because he cherishes the thought of running and letting people hit him. It is sort of a way to ignite his game.
"Running out there, moving out there just puts me in a different mode, in a different setting, like a game setting," Fields said. "Moving a little bit, running around a little bit, definitely pumps me up a little bit more rather than stay kind of calm in the backfield.
"Running around and getting hit, it's, of course, gonna be first time since January, but I'm definitely excited."
Fields wasn't getting hit in the practice at Soldier Field Tuesday, even with players wearing pads. He won't get hit—or shouldn't—in the practices against Miami next week. He could when they get in the preseason game.
Fields had said he thinks about the last hit he took against Clemson in the national semifinals and it caused some pain.
"I mean, it doesn't bother me, but the hit hurt so much, every time I run now I just think of that hit and I'm not trying to take a hit like that again," Fields said. "So I definitely (think) get out of bounds or getting down."
When the Bears first started getting work outdoors in during the offseason, Nagy was hoping to see some of the 4.4-second speed in action.
"He's made plays and now what we have to do is figure out how do we use that and I think Justin will tell you that one of the things that he does is try to be a quarterback first and then use his legs when has to," Nagy said.
Now, however, the priority is elsewhere.
If Fields is going to run during camp and preseason, Nagy wants a different kind of running.
"Just run the offense," Nagy said. "That's it. It's real simple, you know?
"All the other stuff, the flashy plays, anything that happens bad, we'll analyze that. We'll critique him. How did he handle this? How did he handle situational football, right? But how are you running the system? Are you making plays? And are you being a leader?"
If the Bears don't get the tackle situation resolved soon with Teven Jenkins healed and back in the lineup, Fields might be doing more of that 4.4-second running than he or the Bears would like.