The talk around Justin Fields the entire offseason has centered on his supporting cast. His wide receivers are devoid of any playmakers. The offensive line is in shambles. They have no explosiveness at tight end. Their running back position is their strength, which isn’t a good thing. Unless all of this changes, Fields has no shot at success in 2022. Not enough people have discussed the other side of the coin. That is the new offensive system.
Matt Eberflus made his first goal as head coach to bring in an offense he felt was one of the most challenging for him as a defensive expert to stop. That was undeniably the wide-zone system, made famous by the Shanahan family as well as Sean McVay, Gary Kubiak, and Matt Lafleur. That is why he lured Luke Getsy from Green Bay to become the new offensive coordinator. He knows that offense and how to implement it.
Maybe people should be more optimistic.
Former offensive lineman Ross Tucker is. He’s made it clear over the previous months that he isn’t a fan of the Bears’ roster. He has said multiple times their receivers and offensive line are among the worst in the NFL. However, his tune changes significantly when the topic shifts to the offensive system. From what he has learned and heard over the years, not only is the wide-zone the best system for a quarterback in general, but it’s perfect for Fields. He explained why on 670 The Score with Parkins & Spiegel.
The best way to know if a particular offensive system is good or not is by looking at what it can do for more average quarterbacks. Hall of Famers like John Elway, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Matt Ryan would have success regardless. What really showed people the wide-zone is for real was when guys like Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Matt Schaub, and Jared Goff were making Pro Bowls in it. None of them have near the level of talent Fields does.
Justin Fields will be set free in this new offense.
One of the biggest criticisms of Matt Nagy last year was how he didn’t take advantage of Fields’ strengths. Specifically his ability to run and throw on the move. There weren’t nearly enough bootlegs and rollout play action. Most of his passes came from straight drops under center or shotgun. It was little wonder the offensive line struggled to protect him. Talent might still be an issue, but this new offense will do a far better job of making life easier for them.
There will be a steady commitment to running the ball and lots of play action to help slow down opposing pass rushes. Justin Fields was at his best off play action last year, going 35-of-57 for 509 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. It was mind-boggling the Bears didn’t have him throwing like that more often, especially considering they had the 11th-most rushing attempts in the NFL.
Another example of Nagy’s lacking common sense.
Getsy doesn’t plan to have that problem. He made it clear from the start that he would morph this offense around what Fields and the rest of the players do well. Then everything else will go from there.