Bears

Bears QB Justin Fields isn’t pushing for more pass plays, says calling plays is ‘not my job’

Fields also clarified a comment he made Sunday about Bears fans

LAKE FOREST – Bears quarterback Justin Fields hasn’t asked his coaches to call more passing plays.

Fields has attempted only 28 passes through two games. That is an extremely low total for a modern NFL offense. New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco, who leads the NFL in pass attempts, has already thrown 103 passes in two games.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said that Fields has input with the offense.

“I have a say into what pass plays I like, what concepts I like,” Fields said Wednesday at Halas Hall. “But in terms of when we’re going to call a play, how many passes, how many runs we’re going to call, that’s [offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s] job and everybody in the building knows that Luke knows what he’s doing.”

Eberflus said after Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, and reiterated on Monday, that the Bears’ run game was working well Sunday. Eberflus wanted his team to stick with what was working. Running back David Montgomery ran for 122 yards in the game.

That may be the case, but the Bears’ passing game has been abysmal. Two weeks is too soon to panic, but the Bears currently rank dead last among NFL teams with 76.5 passing yards per game. That number will certainly rise as the offense builds more rhythm. No NFL team has finished a season with fewer than 140 passing yards per game in 11 years. Unless the Bears turn this around quickly, they could challenge that figure.

This season should be about finding out what Fields, the 11th overall draft pick in 2021, can do in the NFL. It’s hard to know what Fields is capable of if he isn’t throwing the football.

General manager Ryan Poles wasn’t concerned with providing Fields with weapons in free agency. The result is an offense whose leading receiver, Equanimeous St. Brown, has three catches for 57 yards through two games. Top tight end Cole Kmet hasn’t caught a pass. Receiver Darnell Mooney, who totaled 1,000 yards last season, has caught two passes for four yards.

“My job is not to call pass plays,” Fields said. “My job is not to make sure Darnell has five catches each game. That’s not my job. My job is to get the play and run it to the best of my ability.”

Eberflus said this week that the Bears’ offense has to do a better job of highlighting its skills. That was a subtle way of saying Mooney and Kmet need to touch the football more.

“We know that,” Eberflus said. “So we’re going to try to do a better job of that. We will do a better job. ... We’ve got great coaches. Those guys are smart. They know how to get it done and we will get it done.”

A message to fans: At the podium Wednesday, Fields clarified a comment he made about Bears fans following Sunday’s loss to the Packers.

Asked about a loss against their biggest rival upsetting the fans, Fields said that fans aren’t the ones putting in the work.

“It hurts more in the locker room than the Bears fans,” Fields said Sunday. “At the end of the day, they aren’t putting in any work. I see the guys in the locker room every day. I see how much work they put in.”

On Wednesday, Fields clarified that he didn’t mean to offend Bears fans. He said he knows many Bears fans work hard at their jobs. Fields said he was frustrated after the loss and should’ve done a better job explaining what he meant. It was meant to be more of a comment on how hard his teammates worked ahead of the game.

“I respect every fan that we have,” Fields said. “I’m glad that we have fans. I would never disrespect anybody on what they do or what they love to do.”

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.