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Fields heads into third training camp feeling comfortable, confident

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

Bears quarterback Justin Fields spent his second NFL season growing into the organization's top playmaker with his electrifying speed and instincts.

With training camp officially underway at Halas Hall, general manager Ryan Poles is looking to see Fields continue his upward trajectory, specifically in the passing game, heading into Year 3.

"You want to see him improve everywhere," Poles told reporters Tuesday morning at Halas Hall. "Obviously, you know what he did with his legs was outstanding, but in the pass game, look at the different scenarios, situations, two-minute, and continue to improve that."

Fields "worked on a lot of things this offseason," as he felt there were several areas of his game from last season that could use improvement.

While Fields' work ethic and habits weren't much different than any other offseason, his familiarity with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy's scheme and expectations should allow for a smoother, more detailed offense.

"This offseason has definitely been easier for me in terms of diving deeper into the playbook and just [getting] a better understanding of it," Fields said. "I've definitely felt way more comfortable this offseason in OTAs than I have the past two, for sure."

That consistency in the offensive style, which Fields had not experienced in his first two years, had a positive influence on the entire unit this offseason and is something he hopes will continue to grow during training camp.

"I think this past OTAs, that was personally our best OTAs since I've been here," Fields said. "I think everybody on our side of the ball is confident. I think even on the defensive side of the ball, everyone is confident. I think the biggest thing is showing up to practice each and every day and competing and making each other better."

An added layer of comfort for Fields ahead of training camp is the receiver position being deeper than it was at this time last year. The additions of DJ Moore and 2023 fourth-round draft pick Tyler Scott, along with the return of Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney give Fields a variety of talent to utilize this season.

"They can take more reps at those certain positions so they're able get on the same page," Fields said. "We're able to have certain conversations on what guys are running certain routes, to talking about if you see a certain coverage, they're going to do this or that.

"It is going to help our team, having those guys set in certain positions rather than trying to find out which receivers do what things best. Just being able to have those conversations now rather than later down the line."

Since the conclusion of last season, Fields has continuously worked to build his chemistry with each receiver and tight end on the roster. Most recently, Fields and several Bears players trained together in Florida to, according to the quarterback, "just to work out a little bit, hang out a little bit." Those players included receivers Scott, Claypool, Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Daurice Fountain and Nsimba Webster, tight end Cole Kmet and backup quarterbacks PJ Walker and Nathan Peterman.

While Fields' offseason work with Mooney and Claypool has been limited due to both receivers recovering from injuries, he said he spent time throwing with both of them prior to their training in Florida. Fields expressed pride in how Mooney handled his rehab after he suffered a season-ending injury last November.

"Moon is a very hard worker, so I know he's gonna get back to the spot that he needs to be at," Fields said. "Just trying to get it back to where he was last year and feeling even better. I think that's where we are now. He's looked really good. Excited for what he does this season."

As for Claypool, Fields said the receiver "looked good" in Florida and is proud of "the way he worked and just really attacked each and every day" this offseason.

"Like I said in the springtime, [Claypool] worked really hard from last year to learning the offense and really just putting his best foot forward and just trying to learn," Fields said. "I think it was tough last year coming in midseason trying to learn our offense because it's so complex."

While Fields will be focused on improving his game and the Bears offense this training camp, he's also looking forward to building a "championship mindset," something Poles is implementing through the entire club.

During their press conferences Tuesday, Fields and Moore both shared the team's ultimate goal "is to win a Super Bowl." Fields said coach Matt Eberflus has taken initiative on spreading the championship mindset by scattering motivational quotes around Halas Hall, with one example being, "Champions are built different. They think differently. They move differently."

Fields believes the addition of veterans who come from winning organizations like linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards has helped push that culture forward.

"[It's] really just stepping on the field knowing that you're the best player out there," Fields said about the championship mindset. "Knowing that when you step on the field, you're going to win the game. Thinking, having that mindset when you're on the field before a game, it's just different. I don't really know how to explain it to you, but it's just a different feeling to be honest with you."

Get an exclusive look at players arriving for the start of Enjoy Illinois Chicago Bears Training Camp at Halas Hall.