Bears OC lauds QB Justin Fields for taking leadership role

ByCourtney Cronin ESPN logo
Thursday, September 28, 2023

CHICAGO -- Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is encouraged by the growth he's seeing from Justin Fields despite Chicago's 0-3 start after an offseason of high expectations linked to the quarterback's development.

"Our expectations have always been the same," Getsy said Thursday. "It's about [Fields] getting better every single week and making sure that he's mastering what we're doing from our perspective. And being the leader of that unit. And I think he's doing a really nice job in the midst of a lot of s--- right now and going on, that he's ... manning up and taking a leadership role for these guys. So, it's been good to see him be able to put it on his shoulders and be the guy that wants to help make this thing get right."

Fields threw for 99 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 41-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefson Sunday. His completion percentage and passer rating have declined each week since a season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers, as have his number of pass attempts and air yards per attempt.

Last week, the quarterback said he hoped to play "free and be myself" against the Chiefs after calling his own play "robotic" in a Week 2 loss at Tampa Bay. When asked Wednesday whether he felt freer playing Kansas City, Fields responded, "Yes, I did."

The Bears look to snap a 13-game losing streak when the Denver Broncos come to Soldier Field in Week 4. Chicago's offense ranks 29th in yards per game and 27th in points per game, and has the 31st passing offense at 148.3 yards per game. Getsy said he could not tell how far away the Bears were to winning, despite coach Matt Eberflus repeatedly saying he felt his team was close.

Instead, the offensive coordinator pointed to his confidence in Chicago's big-picture approach.

"I think we're in the process of building something special," Getsy said. "I think that we're in the phase of it's Week 3 going into Week 4 and we're going on to find a way to attack Denver in a completely different way than we did Kansas City. That's a week-to-week challenge that you have. There's different schemes. There's different mentalities of coordinators that you're playing against. Like Coach Flus kind of always says, you get 24 hours to enjoy or be sad about whatever the heck happened, and you move on. That's part of our business. It's a 17-week process. It is not a three-week process."

Chicago possessed the NFL's best rushing offense last season and currently ranks in the middle of the NFL at 101.7 rushing yards per game. Miami, Denver's Week 3 opponent, rushed for 350 yards as a team (8.1 yards per rush) in a 70-20 win over the Broncos. Noticeably absent from the Bears' ground game is Fields, who has 11 attempts for 47 yards in three games.

"I think that's the biggest difference from what kind of carried us at the beginning of last season, was the explosive run opportunities that we created," Getsy said. "We just really haven't created those right now."

The Bears aim to avoid their first 0-4 start to the season since 2000. Fields' 11 losses as a starting quarterback is the longest streak by a Bears QB in the Super Bowl era and the longest active streak in the NFL.

Wednesday, Fields said he had not given much thought to the team's losing streak and instead was focusing his attention on mastering details on offense. When asked Thursday whether he feels pressure to get the offense back on track, Getsy pointed to his own expectations as carrying the most weight.

"Nothing or nobody or no circumstance is going to put more pressure on myself than myself already," Getsy said. "So, yeah, absolutely. If we're not achieving everything that we want to achieve as a team, I'll always look inward first."

Related Video