A day after Bears quarterback Justin Fields expressed frustration with being over-coached, being too robotic, needing to “play football how I know to play football,” and being too concerned with playing in the pocket, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy explained what he will change to fix all that.
Fields’ frustration, as well as his inconsistent play that sure looks like regression to experts and laymen alike outside of Halas Hall, is just part of the process. And, based on Getsy’s own conversation with Fields — rather than his press conference critique that sure sounded like a guy begging for significant changes to the way he’s coached — it’s time to stick with the plan, not adjust it. He’ll get there.
“Justin believes in the process we’re going through. We’re going to keep working and sticking together,” Getsy said. “It’s going to keep getting better, as it has.
“I know the result isn’t what we all want. I get that. That sometimes puts added pressure on people. We believe in it and we’re going to stick to it, and that’s what we’ve talked about as an offensive unit.”
In Week 3, with 15 games to go in the regular season, Getsy can still somewhat plausibly stick to his plan even when Fields himself thinks it doesn’t cater to his strengths. But you don’t have to look too far to see NFL quarterbacks with much less starting experience than Fields who have had early success that at least provides some evidence they’re getting somewhere: the Packers’ Jordan Love (three career starts, 118.8 passer rating); the 49ers’ Brock Purdy (12 starts, 106.3); the Commanders’ Sam Howell (three starts, 95.0); the Falcons’ Desmond Ridder (six starts, 93.1), the Texans’ C.J. Stroud (two starts, 91.2); and the Cardinals’ Joshua Dobbs (four starts, 89.5). All of them have had at least one game with a 99.9 rating or higher. Fields (27 starts, 70.7) has a high rating of 78.2 against the Packers.
When Getsy was presented with many of the points of contention that Fields expressed in his weekly media availability, it was almost like Fields had a different conversation with Getsy than Fields did with reporters. Like the notion that he’s being over-coached and not allowing Fields to “play free.”
“I’m not gonna make an assumption of what he said,” Getsy said. “I’m going to reflect on what he actually said to me and what he said to our group. As far as that goes, as [Eberflus] said, it’s an open book. That relationship, the partnership that Flus and Justin has is amazing. And to be honest with you, Justin, myself and coach Janocko [quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko], it’s even better.”
Other than that, it was the same theme as always. He’s getting there. “He had a great day of practice [Wednesday],” Getsy said.
Information overload? “It’s the job of the coach to give them the information, let them absorb it and go out and practice it and try and do it each week, and I think each week he handles it much better.”
That might be true, but that’s what we’ve heard from every other Bears offensive coordinator over the past 12 seasons, and they all were fired, except for Adam Gase, who received a well-earned promotion to head coach of the Dolphins for doing the improbable — getting along with Jay Cutler.
Most of them had one thing in common — they were the last one to know it wasn’t working. But Getsy is so locked into developing Justin Fields, he can’t see or feel the outside world. Around here, that’s good until it’s bad.
“Relationship is the key to success,” Getsy said. “If you … let that trust grow, then times that appear to be chaotic to you, aren’t really chaotic to us. There’s a believe in the process and the philosophy and what coach Flus is trying to get done and what Ryan [Poles] is trying to get done.
“There’s a confidence in that — I guess to your world — would be shocked. And we believe it and we stick together and there’s a brotherhood that we trust more than anything else.”