Justin Fields, Luke Getsy, Bears all deserve blame for early releases – NBC Sports Chicago | Albiseyler

Justin Fields’ story is one of immense talent and potential – of a quarterback fighting against the unfair tide of NFL fate.

It’s a story that’s still being written, but it’s taken a dark turn two weeks into the 2023 season opener.

A campaign that began with unrealistic MVP expectations saw Fields complete 40 of 66 passes for 427 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions and a 70.7 passer rating. That passer rating is worse than what Fields put together in his rookie season with Matt Nagy.

The belief that reverberated around Chicago all summer quickly turned to concern about Fields’ future as the franchise’s savior.

Fields struggled in the Week 2 loss against the Bucs, no doubt about that. The third-year quarterback shares much of the blame for his early season struggles. The footwork was inconsistent, he was too judicious on his reads, he couldn’t get it loose to open receivers, he takes bad sacks and he holds the ball too long.

He deserves a piece of the guilt pie we’re serving up right now. Dot.

But the biggest problem with Justin Fields’ discourse is that things aren’t as black and white as people want them to be.

Justin Fields can be better. Decision making needs to be quicker and footwork more consistent. He is not absolved of initial problems.

But it doesn’t just fall on Fields’ shoulders.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has been a colossal disaster in two games.

The designed runs that hit four of the Bears’ offensive explosion last season were nowhere to be found. The Bears have had four designed quarterback runs in two games. When you have a quarterback with Fields’ athleticism who can outrun NFL defenders, you have to play to his strengths. At the very least, have this tool in your toolbar.

No one is saying the Bears should run Fields 15 times a game, but they have to take advantage of it. Quarterback designed runs not only put the defense in conflict and open up the run, but can also help Fields get into a better rhythm.

Getsy and the Bears appear to have discarded aspects of last season’s successful mini-bye overhaul and gone back to asking Fields to run an offense that doesn’t mesh with his skill set.

Through two weeks, the Bears have spider-webbed quarterback-designed plays and kept the vertical pass mainly in the closet.

Fields is at his best when he can use his elite athleticism to stretch the field with a deep pass.

Instead, the Bears focus on the fast-paced passing game, likely due to a lack of confidence on offense.

Through two games, Fields has a league-low 5.0 yards per target per next-gen stats. But the short passes weren’t effective for the Bears’ offense. The Bears are last in the league with an above-expectation completion percentage at -11.1, meaning the Bears should complete 11 percent more passes than Fields’ 60.6 through two games.

There’s also the issue of Getsy’s lack of creativity and insistence on repeating the same concepts. That put the Bears in trouble in Tampa on their potential game-winning drive. Down 20-17, the Bears tried to run a screen to Khalil Herbert, but he was called away on a pass rush to Chase Claypool. Backed up at their 6, the Getsy elected to call the same play. Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett made an easy read of the play and picked off Fields’ pass.

Running the same play from the same formation at the NFL level is inexcusable. That’s the opposite of helping a young quarterback. It’s frankly detrimental to his development.

Getsy needs to look at how Shane Steichen helped Jalen Hurts and borrow some of those concepts to help Fields get into a better rhythm and allow him to succeed.

Throughout the offseason, the Bears have worked to improve the rhythm and timing of plays. It hasn’t shown up in two weeks. That’s not to say the Bears are interested in Fields’ development, but the lack of consistency is an issue.

“You definitely want to see that consistency there. OK?” Head coach Matt Eberflus said Monday. “You see flashes and then you see improvement. You see that. And yesterday you saw the ball go down the field, which is all positive. Those are all positive things. And like I said, we want to see consistency in that.” Take what the defense gives you. You know, if that long ball is there, there’s a shot, there’s a cut, whatever route it is, and if it’s not there, work your way through it. just about consistency. That’s how it really is.’

What is the key to the Bears running game finding consistency? Quarterback designed runs, pulling Fields out of the pocket and vertical throws.

“But like, you saw the first down of the game, throwing the ball down the field. Put the ball in DJ’s hands, let him make the play, and it happened again, just take the ball from him, make the play, and then Chase got into the end zone,” Wide responded receiver Darnell Mooney on Monday when asked how the Bears’ passing game can improve. “Just allowing guys to be responsible for anything on the field. Allow us to play that game, drop that ball, whatever it is. Let us be responsible. We just kind of have to keep thinking like that.” and put the blame on us guys.”

Fields has been inconsistent and the warts that were prevalent last year are rearing their heads again. Getsy carries a lot of guilt. Your job as a coordinator is to know not only your system, but also the strengths of your players and build your offense around what they do well.

Fields is not Aaron Rodgers. Getsy has to let Justin Fields be Justin Fields or it won’t work.

But the blame doesn’t stop with Fields and Getsy.

Bears make a lot of stupid mistakes. Receivers run bad routes, spacing is terrible on many plays, and breakdowns in protection are everywhere.

That’s a recipe for making life incredibly difficult for a developing quarterback.

A bad plan, too many stupid mistakes and a quarterback who doesn’t believe what he’s seeing are all problems.

That’s why the Bears’ offense has gotten so bad in two weeks, and why the once-unshakable faith in Fields is starting to wane.

If Fields fails with the Bears, it won’t be for lack of talent or work ethic. This will be because if you have played his career 10 times, that is the worst possible situation and outcome.

There’s still time for the Bears and the field to fix it. Things are murky, but they can turn around with a more Fields-friendly scheme, smarter play from all 11 and better play from Fields — from footwork to decision-making.

Everyone deserves blame for what went wrong. Can they be part of the solution search? Or will this be another chapter in the cycle of Bears quarterback failure that has surrounded the franchise for 30 years?

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