Sat, 02 Jul 2022

Quick Hits: Fields displaying deep-ball accuracy

Chicago Bears
26 May 2022, 16:37 GMT+10

Larry Mayer

Bears coach Matt Eberflus has been impressed with Justin Fields throughout the offseason program, but one aspect of the second-year quarterback's game has stood out above everything else.

"I would say, 'Man, he throws a good deep ball,'" Eberflus said Tuesday. "I'm excited about that. You could see it in the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11s. We're going to take our shots down the field. He does a nice job doing that, and that's what stands out to me."

Fields' deep-ball accuracy and his mobility both figure to put pressure on opposing defenses this season.

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"Those things stretch you," said Eberflus, who was hired by the Bears after spending the previous 13 seasons as an NFL defensive assistant. "When you get stretched vertically and horizontally like that, it always causes stressors on a defense."

Bang-up job: When Eberflus constructed his coaching staff, he placed on emphasis on hiring assistants who are excellent teachers. It's a quality that Eberflus sees offensive coordinator Luke Getsy display on a daily basis.

"I'm in the quarterback meeting every morning and I really appreciate the way he coaches and the way he simplifies it for the players," Eberflus said. "He's doing a bang-up job in there, and you can see that in the execution on the field. The guys know what they're looking at and understand how to operate, and the offense is looking good."

Assessing during OTAs: It's difficult to evaluate players during non-contact practices without pads, especially offensive and defensive linemen. So, what does Eberflus look for?

"Mentally, what you assess this time of year [is], 'Can the guy pick it up? Is he fast mentally? Can he think on his feet? Is he able to adjust and make the adjustments on his feet?'" Eberflus said. "That's No. 1. And then No. 2, physically, what you can see is athletic ability. I like to see athletes we're acquiring here, really good athletes that can run. Can they operate and be quick and not in a hurry as coach [John] Wooden would say? So, we're looking at those things: body control and those physical traits that we're looking for to succeed."

Practice makes perfect: The Bears worked on situational football in Tuesday's OTA practice, including third downs from all distances and two-minute drills.

"The guys did a real good job with the operation first time going through it utilizing timeouts, getting out of bounds when they're supposed to and executing on defense," Eberflus said. "I thought they did a nice job."

Familiar faces: Former Bears safety Gary Fencik attended Tuesday's practice. The team previously hosted former cornerback Charles Tillman at its rookie minicamp earlier this month and Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent at an OTA practice last week.

In an effort to embrace the Bears' rich history and strengthen the bond with their alumni, Eberflus has reached out to many former players.

"To me, you can't have enough of that," Eberflus said after Tillman's visit. "I texted a bunch of [former Bears] when I got the job. I've talked to several of them. They're all welcome to come in. We would love to see them. And we're excited about having guys like that around in the future."

Tight end U: For the second straight year, Cole Kmet plans to attend "Tight End University," a gathering of tight ends that's scheduled to be held June 22-24 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

The event is organized by former Bears tight end Greg Olsen, the Chiefs' Travis Kelce and the 49ers' George Kittle. About 50 tight ends are expected to work out together and share trade secrets.

"You just get to pick everybody's brain, that's the main thing," Kmet said. "Obviously, [we] have a little bit of fun. I'm not going to lie, that's most of the trip. But you get to definitely pick guys' brains and see what they've been doing and how they go about the game and how they see things and all that type of stuff."

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