Justin Fields named starter for Sunday’s game.
It’s a great opportunity for Justin and for all of us as a staff to be able to take this thing and see where he goes with this.-Matt Nagy
As soon as Fields got the call, the entire dynamic with the media switched to how ready is Justin to take the helm of this team.
Matt Nagy: “He’s able to do this in training camp. He’s able to get out and play in the preseason. And he made some good plays, but now he gets to do it for ‘real’. It’s unfriendly what happened to Andy,because Andy was really playing well at at the beginning part of that game. Andy’s a very tough player and a team guy, and I know he’s been very supportive, moving forward with Justin. There is excitement,. Justin is a guy that prepares well. This is going to be his first time to truly prepare as the starter and see what it’s like every single day to do that stuff mentally and physically in practice. Also too, this is obviously big news to a lot of people and to him. I think the biggest thing we can help him with too, is the distraction part. Keep him insulated, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor:Things are different. You try from all the accumulated reps for spring and training camp and preseason games to take that information as as fits that player. He’s played in big games before. You would probably bet that he’s going to handle it just fine.
The great thing….He’s willing to be coached. Willing to do what it takes.Bill Lazor on Fields
Lazor went on to discuss how the team will find the right balance between giving Fields too many plays at his disposal or “not enough bullets in your belt to win the game.”
I think I had a good idea that I might possibly start, so I wasn’t surprised by it. I’m just trying to get prepared for Sunday. I’m keep all the outside distractions out of the way and prepare as best I can.-Justin Fields
Fields credits his teammates for keeping him on an even keel. “Practicing with them every dry day, he says. “Just having them. I think they have a lot of trust in me. Them just having my back, and having confidence in me that I’m going to go out there and execute. I think that kept me comfortable and kept me poised and confident.” Fields noted that this calmness goes back to his junior year in high school.
Defensive Cordinator Sean Desai discussed the Cleveland offense he has to prepare for. “They are stacked,” he noted. “They are loaded up front their online is aggressive and physical- they’re running backs run angrily- they are physical backs, downhill backs that can make you miss in space – the QB is playing at a really high level. He can extend plays He’s got a cannon for an arm and they got the receivers out there that can make plays on the ball. And the TE are some of their top targets who are fast and have big catch radiuses. All of those are the challenges we’re going to have to rise up to.”
A lot of the guys feel really confident in Eddie. he’s a big physical presence in the middle of the defense and that becomes a real calming factor for a lot of guys around him.Sean Desai on the prospect of Eddie Goldman’s return.
Fields was asked about the Browns defense. “They have a lot of great players on their defense. You know Myles Garret and Jadeveon Clooney. They. Have a great secondary. They play fast and they play with speed and they play physical so it should be a great challenge for us.”
Injuries happen in football – but I believe everything happens for a reason. Seeing myself in this position and being able to get the start on Sunday is amazing.Justin Fields
Lazor: “They’ve got physically talented guys. They’ve got guys who are intense. Even some of their backups. Who we played in the past are guys who have high motor and bring it hard. we all know who these defensive ends are and we’ve faced them, over the years. It would make an unbelievable highlight tape of this defensive front over the years. It starts up front with how they play and how they disrupt.This will be a challenge in Cleveland loud crowd, great football team, really good defense. On the road it’s going to be a great challenge for all of us. We’re ready to just attack this thing, moving forward fright now.”
What was Nagy’s advice for Fields, when they spoke Sunday night. “Trust your instincts, play the way you have played your entire career. He’s played a lot of football high school college .Big time levels. Play loose. There’s gonna be times here moving forward where there’s gonna. be good, there’s gonna be bad. Just cut it loose. His strength is just that. He’s very resilient. Have fun too. Go out there trust your teammates. Don’t try to be out there and be a hero. Just go out there and play.”
Bears at Browns – Sunday September 26, 2021 at noon Central.