Everybody seems to think the same thing about Luke Getsy. It is only a matter of time before the 37-year old becomes a head coach in the NFL. The Denver Broncos spoke to him about their open position last month. In hearing him speak for the first time as Chicago Bears offensive coordinator. There were no grand proclamations about his plans for the offense. Merely a measured assurance that he and the new coaching staff would evaluate the players they have.
He said nothing about schemes or specific plays. Every time the media pressed him on those subjects, Getsy had the same answer. All of that stuff will come later. Before anything else, he must determine the talent he has available and then work with them to craft a philosophy and identity of who they want to be. None of his quotes stood out more than the repeated statements about doing whatever is necessary to take advantage of their strengths.
“This is gonna take time,” he said. “We’re gonna have to get to know each other, and through that process the focus will be dialing into what he does best and then matching that with the other 10 guys on the field and what they do best.”
“It’s not like you run the same football plays every single year or from even one game to the next. You’re gonna evolve. If you have this set of players playing in this game and the next game those players are injured, you can’t do the same thing. It’s all about tapping into what those specific position groups do best.”
Sounds like an almost novel approach—something utterly alien to Matt Nagy.
In truth, such principles are nothing new. One former NFL head coach, Marty Schottenheimer, made that philosophy a central part of his success across two decades. He won 200 games in his career, making the playoffs 13 times. Much of that success centered around an offensive identity that came to be known as “Martyball.” The misconception about his offenses though was that it was merely a dedication to the power running game. Schottenheimer revealed years after retiring that this was not the case.
“At the end of the day, ‘Martyball’ is finding out what your players do best and do that. Run it if that’s what you do best, which is generally what we did best. If the passing game is far better than the running game, then do that. That gives you a far greater chance of succeeding at the task. It’s all about winning.”
This is reflected in his history. For example, the 1985 Cleveland Browns ranked 8th in rushing and 22nd in passing. A year later, they ranked 8th in passing and 22nd in rushing. Cleveland made the playoffs both times. That was Martyball. Doing whatever got the most out of the players available. That is how Luke Getsy intends to operate. Everything will be geared around what Justin Fields and the rest of the 11 players on that offense do best.
A great sign for what is to come.