“Could be coaching, I think,” Fields said. “But at the end of the day … they’re doing their job when they’re giving me what to look at and stuff like that, but at the end of the day I can’t be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week and when the game comes, it’s time to play free at that point. So just thinking less, and playing more.”
Fields clarified he’s not dealing with too many cooks in Chicago’s kitchen, but does think simplification might benefit him. Instead of relying on his instincts, the information overload is causing him to try to process too much, slowing him down, Fields said.
To be clear, this isn’t an indication of a conflict between a player and coach, at least not yet. Eberflus didn’t bristle at Fields’ comments on Wednesday, acknowledging they’re both working toward the same goal.
“I just think that he wants to be able to let it flow, let it go, let him be himself and play free, and I think that’s where he’s at right now. That’s what we want,” Eberflus said of Fields. “We want him to do that. He feels that presence in the pocket where he’s got pressure and he sees a place where he can work to either do a scramble drill, throw the ball down the field or take off and go.”
Fields has been forced to try to take off and go too often through two weeks while playing behind an incredibly leaky offensive line. He might feel as if he’s thinking too much because his protection hasn’t provided him with ample time to work through his progressions, producing a stagnant, almost hopeless offense.
Fields isn’t Superman, nor should he be expected to be a hero. But a simple solution for Chicago’s protection woes also doesn’t exist, meaning he and Eberflus are going to have to work together to find an answer.
Mistakes happen, but the important part is preventing them from becoming an avalanche.
“I think there’s been times when I’ve tried to be a perfectionist,” Fields admitted on Wednesday. “Nothing in this world is perfect so like I said just stop thinking more and go out there and play.”
Sunday won’t be any easier against a Kansas City defense that has surrendered 30 points total in two games against offenses that are superior to Chicago’s. But it is the next game on the schedule, the next opportunity for Fields, Eberflus and the Bears to take a positive step forward.