Justin Fields

Justin Fields not motivated by MVP talk, ‘confident' Bears' offense is ready for Packers in Week 1

All of the preseason MVP chatter hasn't fazed Justin Fields

NBC Universal, Inc.

CHICAGO -- Bears quarterbacks and the "MVP" label don't often go in the same sentence. But that's precisely where Justin Fields finds himself entering a critical third season in Chicago.

Fields currently sits inside the top 10 on the MVP odds board with two weeks to go until the Bears' season opener against the Green Bay Packers.

The expectations are high for the Bears' young, ascending quarterback. Last season, Fields proved to be the most dynamic runner in the NFL. But he struggled as a passer behind a leaky offensive line and with D-level weapons, averaging just 12 completions and 149 yards per game.

Still, hordes of people on the outside expect Fields not only to take a step forward this fall but take several leaps and cement himself as the NFL's newest superstar.

None of that matters to Fields. The MVP chatter, outside expectations, and the Bears' dismal quarterback history are irrelevant to Fields' primary motivation -- winning. That road leads to everything.

"Not really," Fields said Saturday when asked if he cares about the MVP talk. "I’m just focused on what we have going into the building and from week to week. That really doesn’t matter to me because being that, having that talk doesn’t help us win games. If it did, then yeah, I would be excited about it but at the end of the day, none of that talk matters. I just have to go out there and be the best player I can be for my team."

Fields got three series of work during the Bears' 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. Behind a patchwork offensive line, Fields went 2-for-6 for 51 yards while rushing three times for 13 yards.

While Fields and the first-team offense only played five series across three preseason games, the 24-year-old quarterback has no doubt the Bears' offense is primed and ready for a Week 1 visit from the rival Packers.

“I feel like I’m ready," Fields said. "I think us as a whole team, we’re ready. I think the biggest thing is, of course, mentally preparing for Green Bay and seeing what they’re doing. I’m just glad today that I got a couple of deep shots, although we didn’t connect, but it was kind of good. It felt good throwing the ball downfield to DJ and [Darnell Mooney].

"I just know that we just try to be better then we were yesterday and just try to continue to improve each and every day and just attack every day like it’s our last day," Fields said later. "As long as we do that, I feel fine and I’m very confident that we’ll be in a good spot for Week 1.”

Fields and the Bears worked tirelessly in the offense to improve the rhythm and timing of the passing game.

General manager Ryan Poles bolstered the offensive line and brought in wide receiver DJ Moore to give Fields a true No. 1 receiver.

Training camp was uneven. Fields and the offense had sharp days with big plays, but they also had their share of struggles, especially in joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts.

Nine passes and five series aren't a lot of live reps for an offense with several new pieces to hang its hat on.

But it will have to do. The Bears believe Fields and the offense are where they need to be heading into Week 1, but it's far from a finished product.

"I think he’s in a good spot," head coach Matt Eberflus said of Fields on Saturday. "We’ve spent a lot of time and attention on what we needed to this offseason. We’re excited where we are. We got work to do. We got a lot of work to do still."

That work needs to start immediately for Fields and the Bears' offense. The Packers arrive in 14 days, and that's when Fields' prove-it season and the MVP conversation will begin in earnest.

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Contact Us