Bears News: Justin Fields on facing Cleveland defense, Myles Garrett

Bears News: Justin Fields on facing Cleveland defense, Myles Garrett

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - All Bears fans most likely remember the last time Chicago played the Cleveland Browns. It was Fields’ first career start in the NFL. Week 3 of 2021, the Cleveland Browns defense sacked Fields nine times, still the most times he has been sacked in a game and three away from tying the all-time NFL record.

Unfortunately for Fields, the Browns have gotten even better on defense, and defensive end Myles Garrett is having another successful season with 13 sacks thus far.

“They have a lot of talented players on defense. Of course, their d-line is a talented group,” Fields said. “Shoot, their linebackers are very athletic, very fast. They (have) very good instincts in coverage. On the back end, safeties and corners, of course, are definitely top in the league. So, it’ll be a great test for us this week, and everybody’s excited for the opportunity.”

When Garrett had 4.5 sacks against Fields the last time they faced off, that was his second All-Pro season of his career, and he had a total of 16 sacks on the season, tied for his career high. Currently, Garrett is on track to top that as he is averaging a sack each game and is certainly set to gain his third career All-Pro nomination. In fact, he is even in contention for Defensive Player of the Year. Going against such a talented player, Fields emphasized the need “to know where he is at all times, every play” because Garrett is also used in multiple ways by the Browns.

To add to Cleveland’s defensive power, two-time Pro-Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward may be able to return from his shoulder injury after missing last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, making it seem like he will be able to play.

During the 10 games he has played, Ward has only allowed one touchdown.

“He’s talented, one of the best corners in the league,” Fields said. “They’re not afraid to leave him on an island out there. So, should be a good test for the receivers.”

A concern going into this game that has also been a concern for Chicago for the past few seasons is late hits on the Fields when he has already given himself up. This continues to happen and continues to not be called by the referees, such as on the first play of the game against the Detroit Lions in the Bears’ 28-13 victory.

“(I) literally talk to the ref before every game. It happened on the first play of the game and didn’t get a call,” Fields said. “I really can’t do anything about it. So, I just get up and move on to the next play.”

Going from his first NFL start to now, Fields has developed a great deal and learned a lot about managing a game and how to avoid sacks. That road has not exactly been pretty, and he surely has a lot farther to go in his development, but Fields is going into this game knowing he has learned a great deal from his previous mistakes.

“I think just learning from past mistakes, that’s the biggest thing where last year at some points, I would just escape the pocket or just run for no reason,” Fields said. “So, just trying to move in the pocket, feel out the pocket, and throw the ball downfield.”

When this offseason comes around, Fields will find out if his journey in continuing to develop as a quarterback will continue in Chicago or elsewhere, as the Bears will need to make a decision about extending his fifth-year option on his contract. If they decline to do so, his time as the Bears’ starting quarterback is over.

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