After a tough day Tuesday, the Bears offense showed signs of improvement in Wednesday's training camp practice at Halas Hall.
"We had less pre-snap penalties today as opposed to yesterday," said coach Matt Eberflus, "so it was a little bit cleaner operation that way."
On Tuesday, the Bears opened a goal-line drill with a fumbled snap and a false start. They followed with three-and-outs on back-to-back two-minute possessions. On Wednesday, quarterback Justin Fields capped a team period with a short touchdown pass to receiver Darnell Mooney on fourth-and-1 and later engineered a two-minute drive that produced a Cairo Santos field goal.
"We did alright in the move-the-ball period," Fields said. "The two-minute period, we went down there and got a field goal. So just those real game moments, first, second and third down, moving the ball and converting on third downs, those periods were exciting."
With the Bears learning a new scheme under first-year offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, the offense remains very much a work in progress. But Fields is encouraged by the strides the unit is taking.
"I think we're progressing every day," said the second-year quarterback, who believes the offense "can improve at everything."
"There's not one thing that we've reached our full potential yet," he said. "So as long as we continue to get better at each and every thing each day, we're going to be in a good position."
The Bears are counting on Fields to make a big leap from his rookie season, and Eberflus has liked what he's seen from the 2021 first-round pick.
"He's doing a good job," said the Bears coach. "He's right on schedule. We feel great about where he is. Footwork is clean. Operation's getting better every day and we're just taking it one step at a time."
Enjoy Illinois Training Camp was taken to the next level Tuesday as the Bears practiced in pads for the first time this season at Halas Hall.
Fields, of course, wants the offense to perform like a well-oiled machine immediately. But he understands that it isn't an overnight process.
"You want to be successful at everything right now," Fields said. "so it's really just knowing that there are going to be mistakes, knowing that you're going to have to learn and just making sure that you don't make the same mistakes twice. That's one big thing; there's going to be failures, but just learning from plays you messed up on and, of course, not doing it again."
As he matures as a player, Fields said he hopes to better understand that the defense is going to win some snaps and not to make a bad play worse.
"My competitive nature, everybody on the offensive side of the ball's competitive nature, you're going to want to be successful every day," Fields said. "You want to have a successful play every play, but you've also got to know when to take your wins and losses.
"That's one thing I need to do a better job of this year is when the play's not there, throw the ball away or check it down. That's one big thing I have to get used to because I feel like in college, you had pretty good players around me, and we're in the league now; the defense gets paid, too, to make plays. When the play's not there, move on to the next play."
Fields and the offense showed glimpses in Wednesday's practice of what they hope to become this season under Getsy. The Ohio State product's most impressive completions came on darts to receiver Equanimeous St. Brown on the sideline and tight end Cole Kmet over the middle.
"We have a lot of playmakers," Fields said. "Luke, he's a smart guy. He's a great teacher. So, I'm excited for this year, and I think everybody knows they're going to put us in a position to try to do the things we do well."