Plenty of things went wrong with Justin Fields’ rookie season last year. Some of it was the young quarterback’s fault. His decision-making was inconsistent. He held the ball too long and didn’t protect it well enough. At the same time, those who watched the Chicago Bears offense as a whole saw an even bigger problem. Matt Nagy’s entire offensive structure around his quarterback was laughable at times, lacking any understanding when it comes to flexibility.
It too often felt like the former head coach was calling plays as if Andy Dalton were still the starter. Lots of straight drops and play designs requiring the quarterback to make swift decisions. Behind a suspect offensive line, no less. Experts couldn’t believe Nagy was that stubborn. So when Luke Getsy was hired as the new offensive coordinator, people wondered if he had different plans for the young quarterback. Based on early hints from Halas Hall, that is definitely the case. Cole Kmet offered one late last month.
“We’ll see. But — I don’t want to get too much into detail with it — but Justin’s on the move a lot, and I think he does well with that. That’s been exciting to see and you see the types of throws he can make, with his legs and on the run and off-schedule. No pads right now, but you can see that type of stuff and it gets exciting. It’s been a lot of fun seeing him move and doing things like that.”
Justin Fields’ mobility wasn’t schemed nearly enough.
It was a source of unending frustration for those who watched the Bears. They had a quarterback with legitimate 4.41 speed and barely did anything to take advantage of it. Where were the RPOs? Where were the bootlegs and moving pockets? Fields ran only 19 run-pass option plays across 12 games last season. He also only threw 48 passes off play action despite clear evidence he was at his best in such instances. For all the times Nagy said the team did self-scouting, it is clear he never recognized such glaring issues.
Getsy doesn’t seem at all consumed with his own vision for what a quarterback should be. His sole focus is on finding out what Justin Fields does best. If that means getting him on the move more often, then so be it. His new wide zone offense will also have tons of play action mixed in. The constant threat of a running game headlined by David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert will only help matters.
This doesn’t need to be overly complicated.
Teams fear Fields’ mobility more than anything else. A wise coach would look to weaponize it as much as possible. Getsy aims to do precisely that.