Chicago Bears: What Justin Fields brings to the Bears and the NFL
By Evan Bruner
Justin Fields’ football intelligence is something the Chicago Bears covet
One thing that can derail a quarterback’s career is poor decision-making and football IQ. In today’s NFL, it isn’t just about being able to generate big plays; it’s also about avoiding the negative plays that can shift the momentum of a game.
Justin Fields took good care of the ball in college
For as many big plays and difficult throws that Fields made throughout his college career, he had shockingly low turnover numbers. He only threw nine interceptions in 34 career games. Even if you take out the games, he played at Georgia, where he wasn’t a full-time starter, nine interceptions on 579 pass attempts is still really low, especially considering the competition he faced.
On top of this, over half of Fields’ interceptions came in two games in 2020, where he was missing several teammates and had limited practices due to COVID-19, which likely played a role in the uncharacteristic mistakes.
Justin Fields intelligence can also be seen in test scores
Fields’ intelligence is evident just from hearing him talk about football, but looking at test scores can put this mental capacity into perspective. In the pre-draft process, Fields took a mental aptitude test meant to measure a player’s ability to learn something and recall it later on, a skill that is vital for NFL quarterbacks.
He scored a 130 on the test, which is the highest score out of the 6,500 athletes who have taken the test. The nice thing about this test is the concepts Fields demonstrated are directly applicable to being a quarterback. So even if Fields tends to hold on to the ball for longer than he needs to, it seems to be more of a personal preference than a lack of intellectual ability.