LAKE FOREST — Justin Fields knows he can play better than what he has shown this season.
That shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, especially for a self-proclaimed perfectionist like Fields.
“Just like I always say I’ve always got to get better at everything,” Fields said. “I haven’t reached my full potential in any aspect of the game of quarterback play. So just continue to get better.”
One way for any player to reach that potential and show improvement is to recognize one’s own faults and Fields identified one area after going over the 12-7 loss to the Commanders.
Throughout the entire game, the Commanders’ front seven made life difficult for Fields. He was pressured 18 times and sacked 5 times. To no surprise, his pocket presence took a dip and Fields brought this up to his coaches.
“That was actually one thing that me, Luke (Getsy) and Andrew (Janocko) talked about,” Fields said. “I felt like later in the game I was getting my internal clock speeding up a little bit just because of the past pockets that I would get in the game. So I just told them to where if they feel like, you know, I’m getting antsy and maybe leaving the pocket too early when it’s there, just remind me to reset after every play because of course, you know, like you said there are going to be times where I do have time and I can sit in there, but that’s definitely a big thing, just making sure that just because they got back here fast last play or two, three plays ago, doesn’t mean they are going to get back fast. So just playing every play. Every play is going to be different.”
As a quarterback, Fields has so much responsibility on every given play – making sure the right personnel are on the field, that they are lined up in the right spot, relaying the play correctly, etc. So it may be tough in the moment for a quarterback to know exactly how they are doing when it comes to trusting the pocket.
It’s a good sign that Fields brought this up to his coaches on his own. Now, Getsy and Janocko can focus on his pocket presence during games and help him “reset” for the ensuing drives. Look, if Fields is ever going to reach his full potential, it’s going to take gradual progress.
And he has an opportunity to showcase that against the Patriots on Monday night. Fields’ best game of his young career came on Monday Night Football against the Steelers. He finished that game 17-of-29 for 291 yards and a touchdown.
Even though Fields had success last season on Monday Night Football at Acrisure Stadium, he doesn’t put too much weight on when the game is played.
“I don’t really necessarily look at the day that we play,” Fields said. “I just play every game my hardest and the best I can.”
It’s the only way Fields knows how to play football and that is going to continue to be his mindset regardless of the outcomes of these remaining 11 games.