Bears see Fields making progress, hope production comes next


LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Justin Fields' Week 3 debacle against the Houston Texans is flushed. It's in the past.

The Bears' second-year quarterback watched film immediately after the game and watched it again with the coaching staff. Then, he put it behind him and went to work improving ahead of the Bears' Week 4 matchup with the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

It was a productive week of practice for Fields, who finished September with just 23 completions on 45 attempts for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy just want to witness daily improvement from their young quarterback. They saw that this week from a motivated Fields.

"It's been good," Eberflus said of Fields' week of practice Friday. "Like I said earlier in the week, he's been positive, upbeat. He's been taking charge of the offense and working on his footwork, working on his timing, working with his receivers with the timing. We're excited to see progress this week."
Progress in practice is important, essential even. But the Bears need to see the quarterback take that progress from the practice field to the game. After a tough start, Sunday production would inject some good vibes for the passing attack.
"I think it's just growth," Eberflus said. "It really comes down to taking one performance at a time and just growing. Whatever that is, it's about having growth. Last week I thought he had some good explosive passes in there. So we took the positive from there and we're growing from that.
"It's like, when Roquan had all his stats last week, that fosters confidence," Eberflus continued. "You get 16 tackles and you get the game-winning interception, that certainly puts you in the right direction and says, 'Hey, do you know what? I can see it visibly on the stat sheet. I can see it in my play.' So I think that's true for anybody going forward."
Fields was frustrated after the Bears' 23-20 win over the Texans at Soldier Field. That frustration was still apparent Wednesday when the young signal-caller described what he took away from the flop against Houston.
"Just learn from my mistakes," Fields said. "When you don't have a game that you want to play as well in, all I really know, my response to that is get back to work and keep working."
Getsy's offense and Fields' skill set were supposed to be the perfect match. But, so far, the pieces haven't lined up. The passing game has issues across the board. The protection has been spotty. Fields hasn't helped his offensive line, either. Fields ranks second to last in the NFL in average time to throw at 3.06 seconds. Only Giants quarterback Daniel Jones takes longer.
Fields' ability to extend plays factors into that number, but he also is holding the ball too long and not escaping the pocket soon enough when things start to go south.
The Bears' receivers have struggled to get open. Fields has often not recognized it or seemed hesitant to pull the trigger when they have.
The entire unit is struggling.

It's Getsy's job to fix the aerial attack and teach Fields through this rough period.
Getsy spent seven of the last eight seasons in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Coaching an NFL legend and a guy with 13 starts under his belt would appear very different on the surface. But Getsy treats them the same.
"Not much different. Just a different way of going about it, honestly," Getsy said Thursday. "That's coaching, in my opinion. That's what it's all about. That's why we do what we do. That's why we love what we do. And when we can help people progress and grow, and there's a bunch of different ways to go through that, but in the end, your endgame goals are the same and how you treat it is the same in the sense of, there's no sense in, like, I don't believe in just demoralizing people or anything like that.
"We're going to be positive. We're going to communicate with each other and we're going to talk about the whys and the hows. We're not just going to just say, 'Move on and hey go make that play.' That just doesn't exist in our room."

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Fields and the Bears spent all week trying to find the hows and the whys to fix a rickety passing attack. A lot of that hinges on Fields' improved footwork and mechanics being on point Sunday.
The Bears are hoping a week of work in the lab will lead to growth in the Meadowlands.
A positive and unshaken Fields has the Bears seeing daily progress. Now, that needs to turn into production Sunday in New York.

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