Justin Fields’ mouth wrote a check that his ass couldn’t cash. And on Sunday, the Bears rookie quarterback found out that the NFL is full of bank tellers.
“It was actually kind of slow to me, to be honest,” Fields told reporters last month after his preseason debut against the Dolphins. The Bears won 20-13, as the rookie was 14-of-20 for 142 yards and 1 touchdown with a 106.7 passer rating. He also rushed for 33 yards on five carries in that game, and scored a touchdown on the ground.
When the Bears took the field in Cleveland on Sunday for Fields’ first career start, it was clear that the Browns remembered what he said. The rookie was 6-for-20 for 68 yards and had a QBR of 6.0. He was sacked more times (9) than he completed passes (6) to his receivers.
If the game was slow for Fields during the preseason, then it was even slower for Myles Garrett, as he sacked Fields 4.5 times and compared the feeling to his prep days.
“It is awesome seeing everybody getting off and making big plays. It is just like when you are in high school, everybody is balling and you feel like you can make a play at any time,” he said after setting a franchise sack record. “You feel like you are the star.”
Fields wasn’t happy with this play after a game in which he was hit 15 times by Browns defenders.
“The way I feel right now, I don’t like feeling like this,” he said. “It’s kind of like you’re in a dark room and you would do anything you can to win. That’s what will motivate me to not let a game like this happen again.”
Ironically enough, Sunday wasn’t the first time that Fields’ words may have been used as “bulletin board” material in his short career, as Bills linebacker Andre Smith was fined $5,806 for hitting Fields so hard that his helmet came off in the Bears’ second preseason game.
“Let me tidy that up because that came out totally wrong,” Fields said last month after his controversial comment. “Apparently the narrative was that, I’m just that good that the game is too slow. What I meant to say was, I go up against our first-team defense a lot throughout the week, so me going against them and playing these preseason games when starters aren’t in, that’s going to slow the game down for me. Again, I wanted to clear that up because I don’t want to come off as cocky or act like I already made it because I know I’ve got a lot of work to do and get better at.”
The rest of the Bears schedule features two games against the Lions — a team whose new head coach declared that they would bite their opponents’ kneecaps off — as well as the reigning Super Bowl champs and nine other teams with highly paid grown men who would love to make SportsCenter for showing Fields just how “slow” the NFL really is.
One of the greatest lessons that any human being can learn is knowing when to “shut the f*ck up.” Justin Fields is acquiring that wisdom the hard way.