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No Thin-Skinned QB

Justin Fields heard criticism and talk he would fall in the draft and when he did drop to the Bears at No. 11, he shrugged it all off by saying it was time to "get to work."

Justin Fields has heard all the criticism.

He became a Chicago Bears quarterback on Thursday, and he's not asking for the television sets at Halas Hall to be turned off.

The Bears took Fields at No. 11 after trading up and he's got something more pressing now to do than worry about people saying he would fall in the draft due to his epilepsy or because he had trouble reading some zone defenses.


"There's definitely been a lot of criticism but at the end of the day I feel like I know myself, I know how much work I've put in the game," Fields said. "I know how much I love the game. I know how much I want to be great. It just comes a point in time when you have to cut all that criticism out.

"Of course it's good to listen to the criticism you get from people that are actually there to help you. So if it was from a coach or anything like that, of course I'm gonna take that criticism but I feel like of course there's a lot of criticism coming from outside voices that didn't really matter. So I just did my best to cut all that out and really just get to work."

It was Mitchell Trubisky, of course, who suggested the television sets at Halas Hall go off during one of numerous stretches when his name was being dragged through the mud.

So, the Bears apparently have a player with a bit tougher skin than the No. 2 pick of the 2017 draft, the last quarterback they chose in Round 1.

The Bears gave up the 20th pick to the New York Giants to draft Fields, as well as their first-round pick next year, their fifth-rounder this year and a fourth-rounder next year. The Giants used the 20th pick for Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

Fields once was thought to be a top-three choice, the criticism started, the report of epilepsy came out and also the 49ers moved up. The 49ers were there for Trey Lance, and Fields was dropping.

Mac Jones of Alabama also fell and eventually got selected at No. 15 by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

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Fields didn't seem angered about the situation.

"I mean, just like I said, I felt like my family was more nervous than me," Fields said. "But I've been in so many different situations in my life where I think I want something, I think I want to do this, but God has a different plan for me."

A quarterback is supposed to be able to take heat, and Fields has proven with 4.4-second speed in the 40 that he can scramble from it. The teams who passed on him will have to be the ones concerned now.

"I mean I've gone through situations where I haven't been chosen and I think the world has seen the outcome of that," Fields said. "But my goal now is not to worry about those teams.

"Those teams have nothing to do with me. My goal is to, you know, if we play that team, to beat them. So I'm not worried about the draft. The draft is over for me. For me personally, I'm ready to get to work."

Fields is confident in his own skills even if his critics are not

"My No. 1 strength I would just say, overall, just showing up in big moments," Fields said. "I feel like when my big moments present themselves, I feel like there's just another thing that kicks inside of me.

"But I just think capitalizing in big moments, and of course playing well on big stages. I think that's definitely one of my strengths for sure."

Fields completed 70.2% of his passes his final season at Ohio State. So he had to fair well at some point against zone defenses.

“I think the kind of player the Bears are getting is a versatile player, a player that can make plays both with my arm and also with my legs and of course a smart player, a player that's going to make smart decisions and a player that wants to win, that's willing to do whatever to win," Fields said. "That, of course is my No. 1 job, however that may be, whatever my position may be on the team."

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