Chicago Bears: What Justin Fields brings to the Bears and the NFL
By Evan Bruner
Justin Fields brings plenty of athleticism to the Chicago Bears QB position
As time goes on, the league changes, and so do our prototypes for certain positions. Few positions have seen as much of an evolution in recent years as the quarterback position.
We are starting to move past the era of the “pocket passer” quarterback and now prefer players who are more agile and mobile. The best quarterbacks of the 2000s and 2010s were guys like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees. In 2021, some of the best young quarterbacks in the league are guys like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Deshaun Watson. It is clear the prototype of the ideal franchise quarterback has changed a lot over the last decade or so, and athleticism has become a more valued trait.
Justin Fields is a freak athlete
The term “athletic freak” is one that is constantly overused in sports, but Justin Fields fits that description perfectly. Running a 4.4 40 at 6’3″ and 230 pounds is simply amazing. On film, he is consistently able to separate from linebackers and even players in the secondary. There is a distinction between being fast for a quarterback and being fast period. Fields is the latter. 4.4 speed is impressive for skill positions like wide receivers and cornerbacks, let alone a franchise quarterback.
Athleticism helps raise the ceiling and floor of a quarterback
Being a great athlete gives Fields a higher baseline than other prospects. The mobility aspect adds another dimension to the offense and makes it much harder on defenses. Guys like Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson have been able to utilize their running ability to take over games when the passing game isn’t working. In Fields’ limited action in the NFL, we’ve already seen him take advantage of his mobility.
Fields doesn’t overuse his rushing ability
The biggest concern with having a mobile quarterback is the injury problems it could lead to later down the line. Players like Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, and recently, Cam Newton have had their careers hampered by injuries to their lower bodies. Other than the occasional read option, Fields doesn’t do very many designed quarterback runs. He usually runs to extend passing plays, which leads to the next point.