LAKE FOREST — Justin Fields didn’t waste any time after almost making another mistake against Green Bay on Sunday.
The rookie Chicago Bears quarterback narrowly avoided throwing his second interception of the game late in the second quarter when he overthrew a ball to Allen Robinson that Packers safety Adrian Amos caught in the back of the end zone. Video review showed that Amos didn’t keep his feet in, but Fields still wanted to learn quickly.
He ran right to Robinson in the end zone, telling the wide receiver what he saw on the play, wanting to make sure that they were on the same page.
Those are the learning lessons for a young quarterback trying to catch up to the pace of the NFL, but moments like the one following the near interception are how Robinson sees Fields continuing to improve each week.
“Stuff like that, that’s what you need,” Robinson said. “To be able to see those moments.”
Fields hasn’t been the only one who’s needed to make adjustments in his first few games of the season. Robinson has spent time watching film, trying to learn what Fields’ tendencies are on certain plays, especially when he scrambles in order to be available for the quarterback when he’s looking at his options.
Some of the bigger plays in the NFL happen when the pocket collapses or when it’s been more than five seconds. Usually in a zone defense, the defenders have their eyes on the quarterback to see where he scrambles, giving receivers like Robinson a chance to try to get open. just like that near interception against Green Bay.
The main way Robinson knows that his relationship with Fields on the field can get stronger is through communication. While the two can work on some things in practice, there isn’t an exact set of rules or routes the two can script in order to work on their chemistry.
Robinson said his understanding of Fields’ tendencies are still a work in progress as the weeks go on. He wants to know what his quarterback is thinking on certain plays so when a play breaks down, he knows where to be.
“I’m trying to make his job easy,” Robinson said. “As cliche as that might be, that’s my job. I’m just trying to get open where I can, make plays that maybe I’m not necessarily supposed to make, those unscripted plays.”
The learning lessons continue to come against some tough opponents. Chicago has already played a tough defense in Cleveland where the Bears struggled to protect Fields. He’ll now need to move on from playing the Packers to the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While the task might seem hard on paper, Robinson is used to the week-to-week NFL grind in his career. He knows that players can’t get too up or too down on any win or loss.
“For us, it’s one week at a time,” Robinson said. “You can’t focus on whatever is behind you or whatever hasn’t happened.”
Fields has increased his targets to Robinson as he’s taken more snaps in the last few starts. The two have connected 15 times this season for 189 yards, the longest being a 28-yarder against Detroit in Week 4.
While it might be tough for receivers who want to get as many receptions and yards as possible each week, Robinson doesn’t look at it like that. He’s just trying to learn more about his quarterback and find different ways to help Fields see him out on the field.
The more than he can do that, the less near interceptions and miscommunications there will be.
“I’m just trying to capitalize on the opportunities that I do have and whenever they come trying to make a play.” Robinson said. “I’m just trying to go out there and do what I need to do.”