Last season was hard to watch for Chicago Bears fans. Justin Fields was hard to watch. The struggles were numerous. Yet everybody with a trained eye could tell the young quarterback wasn’t the main problem most of the time. It was obvious that head coach Matt Nagy and his staff had no idea how to utilize Fields’ strengths properly. They stayed glued to the system intended for Andy Dalton, thinking it could work with any quarterback.
That proved untrue. Fields didn’t have the experience or quick processing speed to read the entire field as Dalton could. Thus he took a beating from taking too long to find a target or scrambling out of danger. It is little wonder the QB ended the season injured. So when Luke Getsy arrived as the new offensive coordinator, he knew things would have to change. The first order of business was crafting his system around what Fields does best.
Adam Hoge of CHGO saw signs of it during Friday’s practice.
A lot of good offensive play designs (that I’m not allowed to describe). But they are getting Mooney and Kmet open and giving Fields easy throws. Playing to QB1’s strengths.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) July 29, 2022
Thankfully Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Chicago went into more detail about what Getsy was doing. It is evident what the Bears plan to do. There will be lots more play action this year with a heavier emphasis on getting Fields on the move and creating windows with his legs.
“Fields faked the hand-off to David Montgomery and boot-legged out to the right where Trevis Gipson was waiting. Fields knew he had tight end Cole Kmet coming open off the fake, but he had to make sure he got the pass over Gipson, who was bearing down on him. So, he jumped. Fields left the ground and tossed the ball over Gipson’s fingertips and right into the hands of Kmet, who took it the rest of the way for a score.”
Clips from the drills showed how Getsy is working with his young quarterback. Every part of the play is practice, especially the fakes, which he took right out of the playbook he had in Green Bay.
— Chicago Football Connection (@CFCBears) July 29, 2022
Luke Getsy’s offense is a perfect fit for Justin Fields.
The wide-zone system centers on two things: running the ball and creative forms of play action. It works best when it has a quarterback with mobility. Steve Young, John Elway, Jake Plummer, and Aaron Rodgers had the best seasons of their careers in this offense. A big reason was the ability to weaponize their mobility in the passing game. Nagy failed time and again to do that with Fields last season.
Yes, if he wants to be a great quarterback, he’ll have to learn to play great in the pocket. Still, that is a poor excuse for the Bears not doing a better job of helping Justin Fields get comfortable. It took Russell Wilson a few years to become a true pocket guy. He was more of a runner during his first two or three seasons. Getsy knows how to work around those deficiencies. The more comfortable he can make his quarterback, the better the results will be. As Fields gains confidence, the rest of his game should blossom with time.