Here’s what Bears coaches, players have said about Justin Fields ahead of first NFL start

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Justin Fields is gearing up for his first NFL start when the Bears travel to Cleveland to face the Browns on Sunday, where Chicago will be looking to make it 10 straight wins against the AFC North.

With Andy Dalton sidelined with a bone bruise in his knee, Fields gets a chance to make a strong case for why he should become the permanent starter. Listening to what Fields’ teammates and coaches have said about the rookie heading into Sunday’s game, it’s hard to ignore the respect they have for Fields.

Here’s what Fields’ coaches and teammates have said about him ahead of his first start:

Matt Nagy on his advice for Fields

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"Just trust your instincts," Nagy said. "Play the way you've played your entire career. And play loose. Have fun, too. Go out there and trust your teammates. Don't try to be a hero. Just go out there and play. Be a great quarterback for this game and see where it takes you the rest of the year."

Cole Kmet on preparing for "backyard football" with Fields

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"Well, with Justin there's a play that's called and then there's the second play that turns into kind of some backyard football," Kmet said. "You've just got to be aware of that. "The scramble drill is really alive now with Justin and he's going to keep his eyes downfield for those throws."

Jason Peters on what makes Fields so special in the huddle

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“He’s very confident,” Peters said, “so when he calls a play you just want to make sure you do your job because you definitely believe in the kid that he’s going to make a play for you. And most of the time he does.”

Marquise Goodwin on Fields' playmaking ability

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"He makes plays in practice," Goodwin said. "I mean, he goes against our No. 1 defense every day and you see what they did on Sunday. "I've seen him make plays in practice. I know he's definitely prone to make some throughout this week's game."

Mario Edwards on Fields' poise

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"Just him coming in and being so poised, he wasn't, like, flustered or anything," Edwards said. "He was put in some difficult situations and he was a pro about it, and he came out with the W."

Darnell Mooney on Fields' calm demeanor

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“He’s always calm,” Mooney said. “He just wants to make a play and get a dub [a win] for the team. It’s been showing on the field. It’s been showing off the field as well in practice. And with him getting a lot of reps this week, it’s showing as well.”

Kmet on Fields' poise

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“I think it’s his poise — that’s something that really stands out,” Kmet said. “Last weekend [against the Bengals] he throws that pick [and] it’s just next play — which is really impressive. So we’ve seen that. He has an ultimate confidence in himself, which is really cool to see. When the quarterback has confidence like that, it instills confidence in everybody else.”

Mooney on Fields' deep-ball mindset

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“If he’s running, you better run deep because he wants to throw the ball deep,” Mooney said.

Bill Lazor on why Fields is poised for success

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“There’s nothing wrong with being excited and showing positive emotion with your team — but no one wants to see knees shaking,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said. “It’s one of those things where when it’s not a problem, you’re good and you can move forward. When it’s a problem, it’s a problem — and it hasn’t been a problem with Justin.

“Guys who are way up and down emotionally, they can tip over the edge sometimes and make some bigger errors,” he said. “I think guys like Justin, who so far have shown to be flat-liners and controlled their emotions and steady, in the long haul are gonna be more successful.”

Mooney on the difference between Fields and Dalton

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“Both of them throw the ball differently,” Mooney said. “Justin likes to lay it over the top of you a little bit; Andy likes to put it on you sometimes. It’s just understanding who’s in and the chemistry we have with the quarterbacks.”

David Montgomery on Fields' ability

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"Justin Fields is good. He's great," Montgomery said. "He comes in with a winning mentality. He's so composed and calm. He's taking every rep like it's a game rep. Justin is a dangerous weapon with his arm and with his legs."

Nagy on Dalton being supportive of Fields

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"It's unfortunate what happened to Andy because Andy was really playing well there at the beginning part of that game," Nagy said. "Andy is a very tough player and a team guy and I know he's been very supportive here moving forward with Justin. But there is excitement. Justin 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.

"The other thing is this is obviously big news to a lot of people and to him. I think the biggest thing we can help him with [concerning] the distraction part is making sure you take care of what you need to take care of, keep him insulated, and that's what we'll do, and then go out and learn and have fun. When you're playing, go have fun, be a great teammate, and that's probably one of Justin's greatest strengths."

Goodwin on Fields' confidence

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“He’s having fun. At the end of the day, if you’re not having fun, then why are you doing it?” Goodwin said. “So I love to see that, especially out of a young player, because some guys come in and they’re … tight and just don’t want to make the wrong move. But he’s confident and he plays with confidence.”

Eddie Jackson on Fields preparing for his first start

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"He's ready," Jackson said.

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