The plan is in place and Justin Fields has no objections even though it means sitting.
The Bears rookie quarterback has worked through his first minicamp and has a week still of offseason work with other rookies before he can take a rest and prepare for his first training camp. The plan by Bears coach Matt Nagy to make Fields No. 2 behind Andy Dalton hasn't bothered the former Ohio State standout.
"I mean, if I don't believe in it, then it's not going to work out," Fields said. "My job is strictly to get better, be the best quarterback I can be and, you know, help my team win. That's what I am going to do whether it's starting, whether it's sitting, I'm going to do whatever is the best that is going to help us win."
Fields realizes all the fan pressure for a first-round Bears quarterback to succeed, but also the possible adoration if he can do it. He found this all out first hand when he received a long standing ovation at Wrigley Field when he attended a Cubs-Cardinals game there last week.
"I mean, of course I feel it but great things don't happen all at once," Fields said. "I'm just gonna be patient and like I said earlier, I've been in this situation before where I've had to learn behind a guy. So this is nothing new for me.
"I'm just going to take it day-by-day and get better. Each and every day I'm going to trust coach Nagy and the whole coaching staff here to develop me and make me the best quarterback that I can be."
Fields closed minicamp Thursday by throwing a few touchdown passes in red-zone work but he also threw one bad interception directly at linebacker Christian Jones in the middle of the field. Later, he hit Ryan Nall and Cole Kmet on TDs during the same work.
Nagy had a few words with him after the interception.
"It was a new play that we installed today and he was just pretty much telling me how he felt about that situation with me doing it, pretty much telling me that that was a good learning experience right there and that it won't happen again," Fields said.
Fields is fairly confident it won't happen again because he says he rarely repeats mistakes.
"Me personally, I tend not to make a mistake more than one time," Fields said. "So once I've made that mistake I learn from that mistake and I mean there's a 99% chance that that same mistake won't happen again."
One of the few problems the Bears report with Fields so far is getting plays called out the way they want them called out. It can't be like he's reading a play to everyone.
To get this down, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is having Fields make recordings of play calls during the weeks away from Halas Hall and then send them back. Fields says the problem results simply from the fact he didn't have to call the plays out for the Buckeyes because they sent in plays by hand signals and he called them out at the line without a huddle about "90, 95% of the time."
"I mean, I would say that's the biggest change for me," Fields said. "It's not even the play call. It's not the reads, none of that stuff, but it's going to be saying the play in the huddle.
"Some of our play calls are really long. That's what I do. I get the script the night before and I just go through them and read them. Once I go through it a few times, boom, I have it down like that (snapping his fingers), that's probably the thing I've been working on and kind of the biggest change for me coming from Ohio State where most of our plays were called from the sidelines. We were getting signals, to now getting it in the earpiece and telling the whole offense the play call."
Now Fields has had work on the field through a rookie camp, OTAs and minicamp, which is a far better rookies last year received.
"I think for him, you start to see that there’s some throws that we knew going into it from his college tape that he throws better than others," Nagy said. "And then we want to work on some of those areas of his weaknesses and try to improve those and figure out whether it's with Flip (DeFilippo) fundamentally, post-snap with his footwork; whether it's his mechanics when he's [unintelligible] at the pocket or even whether it’s post-snap, PAT, with the read that he makes post-snap vision.
"Like today, there was a great teaching tool of him on the interception that he threw, like in practice when you do that, you're excited that that happens because what these guys do, and what he’ll do is he'll learn off of that and he probably won’t ever do that again."
The fan support hasn't surprised Fields entirely, but the reaction he got at Wrigley Field did.
"It was awesome, it was definitely awesome," Fields said. "The standing ovation, it was a little bit longer than I expected but I definitely felt the love from the Chicago fans. It was definitely a scene that I've never seen before.
"Just that traditional field and that stadium, seeing the atmosphere was definitely awesome. I'll definitely have to go back and of course I'll have to catch a Sox game, too. And for the record, I don't want to split half and half Cubs and Sox. So I'm a Sox and Cubs fan."