Justin Fields (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is pleased with the progress sophomore quarterback Justin Fields has made throughout training camp.
Fields was a limited participant in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, completing five of seven throws for 39 yards without a touchdown or interception.
“I see more progress in practice”, Eberflus told reporters after the Bears’ 27-11 victory. “His footwork is improving, his delivery when he feels pressure, how he slides into the pocket and delivers the ball, it’s also improving a lot. He’s improving every day.”
Fields has had an up-and-down rookie campaign after being selected with the No. 11 overall pick in last year’s draft.
The Ohio State product completed 58.9 percent of his throws for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 games (10 starts). He added 420 rushing yards on 72 carries (5.8 ypc) with two rushing scores.
Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who were both hired in the offseason, are building an offense that should take better advantage of Fields’ multifaceted playing ability.
“He does a really good job with movement passes, play actions, in the pocket, out of the pocket, and being able to deliver the ball,” Eberflus said Thursday. “So we’re excited about that.”
The key question next to the 23-year-old signalman’s development is whether the Bears have put enough passing talent around him.
Darnell Mooney is coming off a stellar year with 81 catches for 1,055 yards, but he needs to prove if he’s a true No. 1 wide receiver.
There are also a lot of question marks behind Mooney. Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown are former reserve players in the power forwards (Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, respectively) and Velus Jones Jr. is a rookie.
Add to that Cole Kmet and the Bears who have the elements for the passing game to succeed, but everyone in the group needs to step forward in coordination with Fields.
If all goes well, Chicago has the opportunity to become one of the NFL’s star teams this season.
The Bears wrap up their exhibition slate next Saturday against the Cleveland Browns. They open the regular season on September 11 by hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field.