- Mar 16, 2019
Fields is also known for his toughness; Pace told reporters that on a scale of 1-10, he ranked the quarterback as an 11 in that aspect of the game. The best example came in last season's College Football Playoff semifinal when Fields led Ohio State to a 49-28 win over Clemson, throwing for 385 yards and six touchdowns while playing through a painful injury he sustained on a hard hit.
"In two years he missed maybe just a couple plays," Day said. "And then in that Clemson game, he took one of the more vicious shots I've seen in a long time and then on the first play back, he comes out and throws a touchdown pass to Chris Olave.
"That's his competitive toughness, and when you're projecting somebody into the NFL, you better be tough. You better be physically tough and mentally tough. You're not going to be able to survive in that league if you're not willing to take shots because you're going to take shots."
Fields displayed his mental toughness last year when he rebounded from the only three-interception game of his college career against Indiana to lead Ohio State to three huge wins over rival Michigan, Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game and Clemson in the College Football Playoff.
"I think [overcoming adversity] is one of the most important traits of being successful in the NFL," Day said. "When you think of guys that make it in that league, they can overcome adversity, and he's done that. I thought after the Indiana game, that was a hard game for him to overcome, and then he turns around a couple weeks later and plays the best game of his career against Clemson on the biggest stage in college football, really."
Day believes that Fields' physical and mental toughness stems from the quarterback's personality.
"When you look at Justin, he kind of burns hot on the inside, but you can't always see it," Day said. "He's pretty even-keeled. He doesn't get real emotional; at least you can't see it from the outside. He kind of keeps it close to the vest. [But] you can see he gets motivated quickly, his competitive fire gets lit quickly. I know he's really anxious to get going."
Day is eager to watch Fields play at the next level and lauded the Bears for how well they scouted the star quarterback.
"I've got to give Matt, Ryan Pace and everyone in the Bears organization credit," Day said. "I thought they did an unbelievable job in this process. They have a great staff. I'm excited for the city of Chicago to see Justin Fields. This is going to be a fun time to be a part of it and watch from Columbus. We're all Bears fans now and really happy for Matt and Ryan."