New Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields Has landed at Halas Hall, and is getting acclimated to his new city and fervent fan base. Moving up to No. 11 overall and nabbing the former Ohio State quarterback was a move that delighted and reinvigorated Bears fans everywhere while also earning raves from draft analysts and experts across the board.
During the draft process, though, several unfounded criticisms of Fields emerged: He didn’t work hard enough. He didn’t love football enough. He wasn’t a big enough gym rat. While his quarterback coach, Quincy Avery, who is highly respected in the league, was quick to refute these claims, the young signal-caller stayed quiet, quietly putting together impressive Pro Day performances.
Avery told 247 Sports that the criticisms he has heard about Fields aren’t new to him — he has heard them many times in reference to other black quarterbacks. “I think there’s a level of inherent bias that people in the quarterback space and football space operate with,” Avery said. “Until we get enough Black decision-makers or people of influence who are of color to start being more involved in this process, we’ll continue to see it.”
Now, Fields has addressed one specific criticism himself, and he took it head-on.
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Fields: ‘I Listen to Criticism From Coaches’
While making the rounds speaking to local media in Chicago Friday, Fields appeared on 670 The Score’s Parkins & Spiegel Show, where he discussed a number of things, from his adorable dog Uno to playing for a franchise with a terrible history at the quarterback position.
When asked about the criticism he has received, the new Bears quarterback got candid:
“There’s definitely been a lot of criticism, but at the end of the day I feel like I know myself. I know how much work I put into the game, I know how much I love the game, I know how much I want to be great, so there just comes a point in time where you just have to cut all that criticism out. It’s good to listen to the criticism from people that are actually there to help you, so if it’s from a coach or anything like that, of course, I’m going to take that criticism.”
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Fields: ‘That Was the Thing I Took Most Personal’
Fields then got into the one specific knock he heard against himself that he simply couldn’t understand: The idea he does not love football.
“I think out of all the criticism that I’ve got over the years, I think that was the one that I took most personal because that’s one thing that I do love is football,” Fields explained. “I’d rather have somebody say that I have trouble throwing the ball 60 or 70 yards than say I don’t love the game of football because that’s something that I can control with my effort and my work. That was definitely a mind-boggling one for sure.”
The 22-year-old rookie also shared some lofty goals before immediately re-focusing on the present:
“Winning a Super Bowl. Winning an MVP. A Hall of Famer…I’m really just focused on the short-term goals right now, and really trying to take it day by day, just become better and better, little by little, day by day.”
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