LAKE FOREST, Ill. — In the middle of his weekly media availability, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields pivoted while answering a question to address comments he made following a 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers that he was criticized for on social media.
When asked Sunday whether the loss to the Packers hurt more because of the Bears’ history with their NFC North counterparts and how much fans wanted to even out the lopsided rivalry, Fields responded, “Yeah. It hurts more in the locker room than the Bears fans. 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. Coming out of a disappointing loss like this, it hurts.”
A video of those comments that did not contain the question that was presented to Fields circulated on Twitter and was brought to the quarterback’s attention when he started receiving notifications for posts he was tagged in.
On Wednesday, Fields aimed to clarify what he meant in his postgame comments.
“Yeah, I was mad after the game. I’d like to address this now to get everything cleared up,” Fields said. “There was a thing I said on Sunday after the game where I said the fans don’t put in work. First off, I was frustrated after the game. Number one, I didn’t want to talk to you guys. I wasn’t in the mood to come and talk to you guys. So, I should’ve done a better job of explaining what I meant by that.
“What I meant by that is I’m talking about work regarding the game on Sunday, winning the game. I don’t know any fans. I don’t know what they’re doing in their personal lives. I respect every fan that we have. I’m glad that we have fans. I would never disrespect anybody on what they do or what they love to do. It came off like that. Some social media outlets, they quoted my quote and they got a big buzz out of it. So, of course they did a great job doing that. Of course social media is going to do that. But I just wanted to clear that up.”
Fields said he turned the backlash he received into a teachable moment.
“I talked to my dad about it, and as long as I’m going to be in this position there’s going to be stuff like that that pops up, so just knowing that as long as I’m in this profession that it’s never going to go away, so just got to either be really clear to everything that I say, be really descriptive to what I mean, or really just don’t say anything at all,” he said.
Chicago’s offensive game plan and lack of a passing attack has been a bigger topic of conversation than Fields’ comments from Green Bay. The quarterback had 48 net passing yards in Week 2 after throwing the ball just 11 times, something coach Matt Eberflus called a concern, but isn’t worried about guarding against forcing pass plays to achieve a more balanced approach.
“You want to see balance,” Eberflus said. “I don’t think that’s really a force issue. That’s what we need to have. We need to have balance in your offense, in the run/pass calls, and we’ll get that.”
Fields said Wednesday that the Bears have “full trust” in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s game plan, and that his lack of attempts weren’t bothersome.
“Like I said about Darnell [Mooney] on Sunday, if he caught zero passes and won the game, he wouldn’t have any problem,” Fields said. “If I threw zero passes and we won the game, I wouldn’t have any problems. Our goal as a team, as an offense is to win games. Nobody’s looking at how many passes did I have, how many yards did I have. We’re just all trying to win the game.”
Fields said he changed up his entire routine following the loss, which includes waking an hour earlier to allow himself more time to prepare for Chicago’s Week 3 opponent, the Houston Texans. While the social media stir was a nuisance he felt he needed to clear up, the quarterback shed light on wanting to share more of his personality as the most front-facing player on the Bears’ roster.
“I think I’m just kind of testing the waters a little bit,” Fields said. “I want to show you guys more personality. I don’t want to be a robot up here so at the same time I just have to be more descriptive of my words and really just describe on what I’m trying to say …
“I could be up here and be like, ‘yes, we’re going to do this and that’ and just be a robot. But I try to show my personality to the world, try to show my personality to you guys, to show that I am a real person and yes, I do make mistakes. But yes, I’m just finding a good balance.”