Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said he still has a lot to learn about what the remodeled offense can do better in 2023.
The coaches are in the teaching phase with veteran players ahead of team activities later this month and just put the rookies on the court Friday and Saturday to assess their movement, skills and learning ability at a two-day minicamp in Lake Forest.
But Getsy can already see how the competition at every position will improve with general manager Ryan Poles’ offseason additions — including receivers DJ Moore and Tyler Scott, running backs D’Onta Foreman and Roschon Johnson, offensive linemen Nate Davis and Darnell Wright and tight. end of Robert Tonyan.
And most importantly, Getsy believes quarterback Justin Fields is much improved as their second year together picks up steam.
“Where he was at this time last year to where he is now, I think it’s just light years ahead of where he was,” Getsy said. “And I feel like he has a ton more to grow in the future. So we’re excited to try to get the best out of him moving forward and continue to work towards where we think he can go.”
The Bears had one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL last season and look like they could be strong again with the return of Herbert and the additions of Foreman in free agency and Johnson, a rookie out of Texas, in the draft. fourth round. All will compete for playing time, Getsy said.
But Bird has averaged 130.5 yards per game, and running backs coach Andrew Janocko stated the obvious Saturday when he said, “We’ve got to step up. That has to be a strong point in our game.”
With Fields, Janocko said the Bears are looking at what they did well last season — where they got a lot of completions, what they were doing mechanically to get those completions, how they stayed in rhythm during it — and trying to build on to stay. They also watched film of similar quarterbacks in similar offenses to see what worked.
“Part of it (the improvement needed) is pace and timing. That’s the footwork with Justin,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “He’s been working on it really, really well as far as the quick pass, the back pass, the move pass, and he’s really made some big strides in that area, getting this farーalone and now he’s going into phase two (of the offseason), the first week. Then obviously acquiring the athletes that we have with DJ and Bobby (Tonyan). … We’re definitely excited about those guys, adding that talent, a piece to our offense.”
When the Poles changed the choice no. 1 to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a package of draft picks and Moore, Getsy received several messages from friends who coached in Carolina praising the type of person the Bears were getting in Moore — in addition to the 5,201. receiving yards he accumulated in five seasons with the Panthers.
Now, Getsy said, it’s about Fields and Moore building the quarterback-receiver relationship. They are still in the “getting to know each other” phase, throwing routes to get comfortable.
Fields will also have to get comfortable with Tonyan and Scott, the tight end the Bears drafted in the fourth round, who said this weekend, “I’m just here to make it easy for you.”
“No matter how great a quarterback you can be or how great a receiver can be, if there’s not a relationship and a bond between the two of them, then it doesn’t really matter,” Getsy said. “What’s cool is the experiences that DJ has had, he’s had to play with a few different quarterbacks and a few different systems. So you can say that it doesn’t really bother new, which will be very good. Once the two of them can communicate with each other — body language, quick verbal communication and other things — it’s going to get better as we go.”
In addition to building a better roster around Fields — including Wright, the rookie right tackle Getsy said has “unbelievable” strength and length to go with his athleticism — Getsy stressed that he expects entering his second year with the same coaching staff should help them build together.
He said he spoke with former Bears All-Pro center Jay Hilgenberg about what continuity can do for a team.
“How they’ve been able to play at such a high level because they’ve all played with each other for so long,” Getsy said. “He was giving me deep insight: ‘Hey, we were playing this team and this two-wide technique was giving us problems in the middle of the game,’ and I’m like, ‘Hey, you block it with me.’ I’ll go around him and go block the Will. That was not part of the play call. But that continuity that they had, that’s the next step. We have to get this group to play together as one, all 11 as one.”
With so many new pieces, the Bears have a lot of work to do on that front.