Go out and have fun or stay home to study?
Justin Fields was faced with that age-old question Tuesday when the rookie first-round pick returned home from Halas Hall—shortly after being informed that he would be the Bears' starting quarterback moving forward.
"My parents were actually at my house last night," the 22-year-old said Wednesday. "They wanted to go out to celebrate and I just told them, 'Nah, I'm cool,' because I'm trying to win this weekend."
Fields passed up the celebratory dinner—his parents went by themselves—and opted to stay home with his dog, Uno, to study tape in preparation for Sunday's game against the Raiders in Las Vegas.
"Of course, there's some reason to celebrate, but I'm not just going to be complacent with where I'm at," Fields said. "I'm going to continue to grow, continue to get better and just try to work hard each and every day to get good wins on Sundays."
One of the main reasons the Bears anointed Fields the starter was the incremental growth he's made since he first stepped on the practice field.
"I feel like I've grown in pretty much every area," Fields said. "Usually when I make a mistake in a game or make a mistake in practice, I just try to focus on those things each and every day and just get better. I'm trying to get better at every aspect of quarterbacking, from just getting the ball out of my hands, from drops, timing, stuff like that; just trying to grow in every area."
The Bears loved the resiliency that Fields displayed in leading the team to a bounce-back win over the Lions one week after a disappointing loss to the Browns. In discussing how the defeat provided motivation, Fields told reporters that he loves adversity "because it just brings a whole different person out of me."
"There's a lot of guys that might not have come back from that," said coach Matt Nagy. "That was tough, but that just shows who he is. All of us, just knowing and seeing what he's all about, and then that trust. Justin has earned that trust with us, and now that's kind of why we went that way."
Fields was the quintessential dual threat quarterback at Ohio State, and he has continued to produce impact plays with his arm and legs early in his NFL career. On the same touchdown drive against the Lions, Fields completed a 64-yard pass to Darnell Mooney and picked up another first down with his 4.4 speed, dashing around right end for 11 yards on third-and-4.
"You never want to lose what he has with that speed," Nagy said. "You never want to lose what he has with that ability. The third-down conversion that we had last week where he ran around and beat a safety around the edge, there's a lot [of players] that can't do that at the quarterback position.
"And there are things we can do schematically that stresses a defense with how we game plan and what we do. At the same point in time, Justin will be the first to tell you that he wants to be the best quarterback that he can be."
Fields' arm talent was on display versus Detroit as he completed passes of 64 and 32 yards to Mooney and 28 and 27 yards to Allen Robinson II. The Bears' longest pass play in their first three games this season was 21 yards.
As his development as the Bears' No. 1 quarterback continues, Fields knows that there will inevitably be bumps in the road. But he's also intent on benefiting from the experience he gains.
"You just have to understand that there's going to be mistakes made," Fields said. "You just have to learn from those mistakes and try not to make those mistakes twice. So, every snap I get, I'm going to see what I could have done better and see what I need to work on and keep improving."