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Eberflus confident Bears, Fields will be ready for Week 1

Bears coach Matt Eberflus and quarterback Justin Fields
Bears coach Matt Eberflus and quarterback Justin Fields

After more than a month of training camp and three preseason games, Bears coach Matt Eberflus is confident that quarterback Justin Fields and his teammates will be ready to kick off the regular season Sept. 10 against the Packers.

"I think he's in a good spot," Eberflus said following Saturday's preseason finale versus the Bills. "We've spent a lot of time and attention on what we needed to do this offseason. We're excited where we are. We've got work to do. We've got a lot of work to do still. We're going to have two practices coming up this week and then a few more to get ready for the game; a lot of walk-throughs and everything to get prepared. But we like where he is."

Fields played sparingly in two of the Bears' three preseason games, completing 5 of 9 passes for 180 yards with two touchdowns, no turnovers and a 140.1 passer rating. He also rushed for 16 yards on three carries.

Like his coach, Fields believes that the Bears will be ready to host Green Bay, especially after a hectic two-week period in which they held two joint practices with the Colts in Indianapolis and played two preseason games.

"There's been a lot going on these last couple weeks," Fields said. "I just know that we just try to be better than 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. 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.

"I feel like I'm ready. I think us as a whole team, we're ready. The biggest thing is, of course, mentally preparing for Green Bay and seeing what they're doing."

Fields names his three goals

Fields blossomed into an electrifying playmaker last season, rushing for 1,143 yards—the second most by a quarterback in NFL history—and eight touchdowns while also passing for 2,242 yards and 17 TDs.

After Saturday's preseason finale, he was asked by a reporter to list his three goals heading into the 2023 campaign. 

"Make the playoffs is one," Fields said. "Make the playoffs and have a chance to (make a) run for the Super Bowl. 

"No. 2 would be to be the best leader I can be for my team and really elevate all of the guys around me to really just influence and encourage them to take a step that they've never seen themselves taking. Just try to be that leader for all of my teammates and my coaches and show them how much I love the game, how much I put into the game. 

"Three would just be to win. Win and have fun and just enjoy this year. Like I always say, you never know when your last day of football is going to be played. Just enjoy it to the fullest and have fun."

Take a look at the best photos taken throughout Enjoy Illinois Chicago Bears Training Camp, including the joint workouts with the Indianapolis Colts and the Meijer Family Fest practice at Soldier Field.

Bagent a humble hard-worker

Fields has been impressed with Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University who is in contention for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.

Bagent played in all three preseason games, completing 20 of 29 passes for 156 yards with one interception and a 67.6 passer rating. He also rushed for 25 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. In last weekend's preseason game in Indianapolis, Bagent capped a 17-play, 92-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run.

"Tyson's been great," Fields said. "From Day 1, he's come in and worked hard. Humble guy, just a hard worker. He's a sponge. He asks a lot of questions. He's very curious about the game, about the offense. He's been a great addition to the room and I'm just excited to see what he does in the future. And, of course, I'm excited to see his success that he's had on the field.

"It's just great to see because he's a hard worker, and if you get to know him more as a person, you'll see that he's a very humble person. He's a great guy just in general, so definitely happy for my man Tyson, for sure."

Complementary football

Fields is also happy to benefit from a seemingly improved Bears defense. The unit generated six takeaways in two home preseason games, including a pair Saturday against the Bills via a Tyrique Stevenson interception and a Trevis Gipson strip sack.

"I expect a lot of takeaways," Fields said. "Coach 'Flus' preaches that. Just a lot of three-and-outs and a lot of places for the offense to get put in good field position.

"It's always good when you have a good defense that helps the offense out with good field position and takeaways, just getting the ball in a good spot. You never want to be backed up and, of course, you never want to go up against a team scoring 30 or 40 points; that doesn't make our job easier. It's great to have those guys on the other side of the ball. Great to practice and compete against those guys, so definitely excited for all of them to be back on the field and show out."

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