Chicago Bears, Justin Fields era is officially upon us

Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears had their press conference introducing their new general manager and head coach. A surprising thing that happened was seeing Justin Fields speak. It shows that the team is now all-in on him.

The Chicago Bears had their press conference introducing new general manager Ryan Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus. They each made a compelling case as to why they were the best choice to turn the team’s fortunes around.

Poles was emphatic and emotional when talking about his new position. He understands how difficult it is to balance work and family life but he feels ready to take on the challenge. However, didn’t seem like a deer caught in the headlight. He answered all the questions that went his way with confidence and emphatically.

One of the comments that will likely stick in people’s memory of the day occurred when Poles described his plan on how to turn the Bears around.

"We’re going to have a relentless approach to fix our weaknesses. We’re going to maintain great self-awareness of who we are. We’re going to solve problems with open communication and candor. And we’re going to consistently put players in position to succeed. And the last thing—the most important piece—is we’re going to take the [NFC] North and never give it back."

That last statement is what people will remember — taking the NFC North and never giving it back. This is akin to Lovie Smith saying at his introductory press conference that the Bears’ number one priority was to beat the Packers.

That comment really fired up the fanbase. While many in the media were cynical at the statement, Smith won his first game against the Packers, and in his first five seasons, he had a 7-3 record against them.

Now the fans will be thinking about the Bears owning the NFC North the way the Packers have over the last decade (seven division titles in the last 10 seasons).

Matt Eberflus had his moment as well. He came in and spoke about holding the players accountable for their play on the field. Additionally, he talked about how much harder the team will work. He gave off a strong Tom Thibodeau vibe.

Thibodeau was the Chicago Bulls head coach from 2010 to 2014. He was known as a coach who worked his players hard. He got the most out of his players, though. The Bulls were 255-139 under Thibodeau.

If the Bears win at the same clip with Eberflus (.647 winning percentage) as the Bulls did with Thibodeau, that means they’d win about 11 games a season. That would be a great thing to happen to Chicago Bears football.

Chicago Bears big surprise of the day is Fields

While Poles and Eberflus both said all the right things and raised hope for the Chicago Bears, there was a big surprise that the team had for the press. They rolled out quarterback Justin Fields to talk to them as well.

This was supposed to be a press conference to introduce the new general manager and head coach but the Bears also sent their quarterback. This is a signal that the team is all-in on the young quarterback. He is now the face of the franchise.

This was a departure from the mixed signals we received from the team in 2021. Oh sure, general manager Ryan Pace said all the right things about him. However, it was clear that head coach Matt Nagy wasn’t ready to hand the rookie quarterback the keys.

He insisted on starting veteran Andy Dalton and, when Dalton was injured and Fields finally took over, Nagy did not have a plan to utilize Fields’ skill set. It seemed like he wanted Fields to run the same offense that Dalton ran. Ironically, one of the things Eberflus stressed was that he wanted to tailor his offense to the players’ abilities rather than the other way around.

It is great to see the team get on the same page and get behind Fields finally. They feel that he is the franchise quarterback they’ve been looking for and will do whatever it takes to put him in a situation to succeed. That didn’t happen with the last regime and that’s a big reason why there is a new one.

The Bears are placing a lot of faith into Fields. They want to make sure he has everything he needs to succeed. Now it’s Fields’ turn to show that the confidence shown in him is deserved.