Chicago Bears: The key to Justin Fields starting is himself

Chicago Bears (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Chicago Bears, Justin Fields
(Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports) /

When will Justin Fields start? The Chicago Bears drafted Justin Fields with the 11th-overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft. The end. Ha, the happiness has hopefully only just begun.

There has been a lot of talk on when Fields should start. Some have said that after the bye week so Fields will have an extra week to prepare. Some have shared that ideally, Andy Dalton will play well enough to keep Fields from seeing the turf at all this season. As much as I tend to trust Adam Jahns, Adam Hoge, Bears Barroom, and other media outlets, I am going to tell you that they are all wrong if they have a dedicated time frame.

The time to start Justin Fields is when he is ready. Suppose he is prepared now, during the NFL season, or three years from now. That is the time to start Justin Fields.

I do believe in a lot of old theories — young quarterbacks should sit and learn the playbook. I also think that three and four-year starting college quarterbacks have a significant advantage as a draft prospect. Two things I learned over time on my own. One thing I learned is some players have it, and some players don’t. It’s as plain and simple as that. You either can play or you can’t—end of discussion.

Secondly, as a prospect, they either have the drive to want to be better as a player, or they don’t. Work ethic in the NFL has been an underrated trait, overlooked for a long time. Names that come to mind are Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell, Eddie Lacy, Johnny Manziel, Ricky Williams, etc. Work ethic is more than putting in film study.

Justin Fields needs to have a great work ethic. Players like Michael Jordan, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady, Jerry Rice, and Greg Maddux are great examples. I use these players because they weren’t the most athletic of their times but were still good at their various duties.

Jordan could jump and knew if he could work on his game that he could become even better. Lewis was the original undersized linebacker who could run. Lewis knew had he worked harder, he could become even better. Brady lacked athletic ability but had pinpoint accuracy. Maddux had a limited fastball but control the ball like no other. Rice lacked top-end speed but his ability to run routes was superb. All of those players were good at something. They used that something and became a Hall of Fame player.