Troy Aikman is no stranger to playing in high-pressure situations. Even before he went to Super Bowls in the early 1990s, the former #1 overall pick faced a ton of pressure as a young quarterback. Many may not know he shares a lot in common with Justin Fields. As a rookie in 1989, it wasn’t entirely clear whether he would be the guy in Dallas after his rookie season, where he threw nine touchdowns and 18 interceptions. So he can relate to Fields in that regard.
Then there is the question of offensive play calling. Aikman struggled to fit into what offensive coordinator David Shula wanted through those first two years. Finally, in 1991, head coach Jimmy Johnson made a change, replacing Shula with Norv Turner. Aikman’s career blossomed, making his first Pro Bowl that season. A year later, the Cowboys won their first of three Super Bowls. The Hall of Fame quarterback told Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune how vital that change was in no uncertain terms.
“It was welcomed with open arms,” he said. “(Norv) was fantastic. And we immediately went from the worst offense in football to a top-10 offense.”
This was part of a larger point he was trying to make.
While people continue to talk about how the Chicago Bears haven’t done enough for Fields regarding his offensive line or wide receiver, they’re not paying enough attention to the offensive play calling. Matt Nagy was ineffective in every way last season, and it showed. If a team finds somebody who can call plays well, things become easier for a quarterback. That is why the arrival of Luke Getsy from Green Bay is so important.
“There will be discussions — as I’m sure there already have been in Chicago — about Justin Fields having to learn a new offense, a new scheme, those kinds of things,” Aikman said. “But it’s only problematic if they bring in someone who’s (not) good. If they bring in an offensive guy who’s good, who can coordinate that offense and get the best out of the players they have, then it’s a good move.”
Getsy is like Turner was back in ’91. This will be the first time he’s ever called plays in the NFL. So there are a lot of unknowns. They also have similar backgrounds in coaching wide receivers. It is interesting to see the parallels. Turner proved to be a very good play caller. Many feel the 37-year-old Getsy has the intelligence and attention to detail to excel at the job as well. He’ll have to prove it on the field, though.
Troy Aikman is anxious to see how Getsy-Fields works out.
He’ll have a chance to see the two work together personally when the Bears take on the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football later this season. A Bill Belichick-coached defense is a perfect litmus test for any young quarterback. The two should have a nice collection of games under their belts by that point. If they put together a good showing, that could tell the world this relationship has a chance to thrive.
Getsy brings an offensive system that is known for being quarterback friendly. The wide zone scheme was made famous by Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Gary Kubiak. They made average quarterbacks like Jake Plummer, Jared Goff, and Matt Schaub look like world-beaters. Considering how talented Fields is, one would think there should be more excitement. Troy Aikman and others aren’t there yet.
They need visual evidence first.
It won’t be an easy start. Chicago must face San Francisco and Green Bay right out of the gate. The 3rd and 9th-ranked defenses from last season, respectively. Then they get the Lovie Smith treatment in Week 3. So Fields and Getsy will have plenty to prove.