Justin Fields

Schrock's Bears joint practice observations: Justin Fields, offense show good and bad vs. Colts

Justin Fields and the Bears' first-team offense struck for a few big plays but overall had an uneven performance on Day 1 of joint practices

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WESTFIELD, In. -- Justin Fields launched a rainbow down the left sideline Wednesday night at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana, during the first day of joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts. It was a perfect toss that dropped perfectly over the left shoulder of Velus Jones Jr. and into the second-year receiver's hands. Jones secured the catch and got both feet down before falling out of bounds inside the 5-yard line.

The Bears' sideline celebrated Jones' best play of camp before attention turned to Fields, who was on the ground behind the line after one of the Colts' defensive linemen tripped and made contact with Fields. The Bears' quarterback wasn't down long, but it was long enough to spark a minor kerfuffle as wide receiver DJ Moore and offensive linemen Teven Jenkins and Darnell Wright had words with several Colts players.

The chirping lasted less than a minute before the two teams retreated to their sidelines.

“I was taking off trying to take care of that safety when he launched it, so I didn’t see too much of it," tight end Cole Kmet said of the incident. "I know one of them – I think one of them tripped. There’s going to be things where guys trip and fall and touch the quarterback. Don’t touch the quarterback. Everyone gets all crazy about it so just have to take it for what it is.”

Fields' dime to Jones perfectly illustrated what was an extremely uneven day for Fields and the first-team offense. It came on the final snap of a move-the-ball period against the Colts' first-team offense.

The drive started with Fields getting flushed with pressure from his left and scampering for a gain of 7. Fields then hit Kmet for a short gain and a first down. A Khalil Herbert run for no gain on first down put the Bears' offense behind the sticks. On second-and-10, Colts defensive end Kwity Paye quickly blew past Braxton Jones to "sack" Fields and set up third-and-long.

That's when Fields went to his easy button.

Fields dropped back third down and threw a strike to a wide-open DJ Moore on a deep in-breaking route. Moore caught the pass and turned it upfield for a significant gain. Fields hit Jones down the left sideline on the next play to end the drill.

The big throws to Moore and Jones were by far the highlight of the day for the offense.

The offense finished the day with a two-minute drill that never got on track.

Trailing by four with 1:12 to go and no timeouts, Fields and the offense took over near their own 30-yard line.

Fields checked the ball down to Herbert on first down for a gain of around 6. Herbert got out of bounds to stop the clock at 1:00. The Colts got quick pressure up the middle on Fields on second down. He evaded the rush and got the ball off to Herbert in the left flat, but the back was downed immediately for no gain.

Fields tried to hit Equaniemous St. Brown on a curl with the clock running on third down, but Dallis Flowers broke up the pass.

On fourth down, Fields felt pressure to his left and rolled right. While he might have been able to pick up the first down with his legs, Fields kept his eyes downfield and threw off his back foot while fading out of bounds in the direction of Darnell Mooney. The pass was on target, but cornerback Tony Brown read it all the way and knocked it out of Mooney's hands.

The uneven day for Fields and the offense also included two interceptions in full-team drills.

On the first, Fields tried to hit Kmet on an intermediate in-breaking route, but the pass was behind the tight end, tipped, and eventually picked off by safety Nick Cross.

In a later 11-on-11 drill, Fields was pressured by defensive end Titus Leo, who beat Jones off the left side. Fields stepped up and looked deep for Mooney. But Fields' elbow was hit as he threw, causing the ball to come out wobbly and be picked off by safety Rodney Thomas II.

The Bears' offense created a few explosive plays, both through the air and in the run game, but it was an overall disappointing day for the unit.

“I think we were on and off," Kmet said. "Some of the timing stuff was off. We hit some big runs, but here and there. Definitely some good things, some bad. Definitely some things to learn from, some things to be proud of and we’ll take a look at the tape and go from there.”

Here are more notes from Wednesday's joint practice vs. the Colts:

-- While the Bears' offense didn't have its best day, the defense acquitted itself well against Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.

The Bears got consistent pressure on Richardson during the first 11-on-11 period. Cornerback Kyler Gordon came on a blitz to register a sack, while defensive tackle Andrew Billings burst past the interior of the Colts' line to force a quick throw. Meanwhile, defensive end Rasheem Green perfectly read an RPO and blew it up for a tackle for loss to end the drill.

The next team period belonged to the Colts' offense as Richardson went 3-for-4, including a dime to Michael Pittman Jr. The star receiver beat rookie Tyrqiue Stevenson on the play, and the two jawed after. Terrell Lewis finished off the drill with a sack.

In the third team period, linebacker T.J. Edwards jumped a short throw to Pittman and nearly had an interception but couldn't hang on. Richardson connected with Pittman on a curl against Stevenson on the next play. Then, Richardson hit Josh Downs on a drag route against Stevenson. Richardson finished the drill with a completion to Downs out of the backfield.

Like their Colts counterparts, the Bears' defense won the day in the two-minute drill.

Richardson appeared to hit tight end Pharaoh Brown up the seam for a big play on the first play from scrimmage, but it was called back due to an illegal motion. The rookie quarterback dug his offense out of a hole with back-to-back completions to Pittman to get a new set of downs.

That's where the progress stopped.

On first-and-10, Richardson tried to hit Pittman along the left sideline, but safety Eddie Jackson came flying in to break up the pass. Jackson collided with Pittman on the play and left the drill. He did not return, but defensive coordinator Alan Williams said he believes Jackson is fine.

With 20 seconds remaining, Richardson dropped back on second down but defensive tackle Justin Jones broke through the line to create immediate pressure. Richardson stepped up and threw a pass at his receiver's feet to conserve time. A third-down pass to running back Evan Hull set up fourth-and-5 with 10 seconds remaining. Richardson's pass to Brown on fourth down fell incomplete, giving the Bears' defense the win.

-- Jackson picked off Richardson in 7-on-7 work.

-- Fields went 6-for-6 in 7-on-7 with completions to St. Brown, Mooney, Dante Pettis, Robert Tonyan, and Kmet.

-- The play of the day went to DJ Moore during individual drills. Matched up with Colts corner Kenny Moore, DJ Moore ran a smooth double move -- first breaking in before snapping the route back outside. Fields put the throw high and outside, and Moore made a pretty one-handed catch.

-- Fields hit Mooney on a go route for a touchdown in individual drills.

-- D'Onta Foreman popped a couple big runs in team drills behind good blocks from Darnell Wright and Teven Jenkins.

-- Right guard Nate Davis was in pads for the first time Wednesday. He did some individual work and participated in one set of team drills before being replaced by Ja'Tyre Carter. Defensive end DeMarcus Walker, who returned to practice Wednesday, appeared to be on a similar ramp-up cadence in terms of reps.

-- Cornerback Terell Smith returned to practice Wednesday.

-- Safety Jaquan Brisker, wide receiver Chase Claypool, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, cornerback Josh Blackwell, offensive lineman Lucas Patrick, running back Trestan Ebner, and linebacker DeMarquis Gates did not participate.

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