Matt Nagy explains how Justin Fields caught the attention of the Chicago Bears
A week ago, one of the wildest first rounds in NFL Draft history took place.
Although the move up cost the Bears a pretty penny — next year's first-round pick among the four selections Chicago gave up — many saw the decision as a positive one for Chicago.
FOX Sports College Football analyst RJ Young viewed the selection as a brilliant fit, to the point where Young couldn't wrap his head around why Fields was available at No. 11.
"Let's celebrate for Chicago for a second. … We have a guy that wants to play quarterback. We have a guy that fits [Bears head coach Matt] Nagy's system. And we have a guy that, I don't know how he got to this point."
Fields racked up 5,373 passing yards in two seasons at Ohio State, completing 68.4% of his passes for 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 22 games played.
He also rushed for 867 yards and 15 touchdowns, while winning the Big Ten Championship twice during his time as a Buckeye.
In the interview, Nagy explained that he had been tracking Fields since last year, following a conversation with Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day.
"That story begins last year, really a little over a year ago, when we were discussing 2020 prospects with Ryan Day," Nagy said. "And at the end of it, as the story goes, I just asked him about that quarterback and he said, 'Hey, man, this kid is a generational talent,' and that stuck with me."
As far as how soon Bears fans might see Fields on the field, Nagy said he and general manager Ryan Pace aren't planning to throw the 22-year-old quarterback into the fire if they don't think he's ready.
"All of us live in that instant-gratification world where everything — we want it to happen right away, right now," Nagy said. "But there's so many steps that go into this process of making sure that we do this thing the right way with Justin. For Justin and for the Chicago Bears. … Because the worst thing we can do is put him in when he's not ready and ruin him, which ruins the Bears."
In the end, the saga of Fields winding up with the Bears is part due diligence, part happenstance.
Nagy pointed out that there's no predicting how the draft will shake out, but that he and the Bears are happy that last week ended the way it did.
"It happened to fall a certain way and we were so ecstatic and happy about it. We couldn't have predicted it three hours earlier, but in the end, it's definitely a situation that we discussed a lot about and it ended up falling our way."
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