When the Chicago Bears hired Luke Getsy, there was fear that he would only be with the team for one year. While he had never been an NFL offensive coordinator, Getsy was a highly thought of assistant coach and interviewed to be the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Many thought he would get more looks with even moderate success in Chicago.
But that didn’t happen.
Getsy’s offense finished 31st in yardage, 28th in scoring and 25th in DVOA. They were first in rushing, but dead last — by a reasonable margin — in passing. While it’s debatable how much of that is Getsy’s fault, the reality is NFL general managers didn’t see enough to consider bringing the Bears offensive coordinator in for an interview.
Getsy did some really good things in his first year with the Bears. The team went through a fairly long streak of having a good offense until injuries piled up late. But Getsy also deserves blame for their slow start; it shouldn’t have taken until the “mini-bye” to change the offense to fit the skillset of the quarterback. They had 48 net passing yards in Week 2, 82 in Week 3; clearly their plan entering the season was inadequate.
There was a lack of talent, sure, but the team’s passing offense was historically bad. The Mitch Trubisky/Mike Glennon Bears had nearly 1,000 more passing yards in one fewer game with Kendall Wright as the leading wide receiver.
There may still be a question about Justin Fields, but the young quarterback showed promise early in his career. Say what you will about Matt Nagy’s Bears but the team adjusted and there was reason to be optimistic about the passing game going forward. After the embarrassing one net-passing yard display against Cleveland, the team didn’t have fewer than 100 the rest of the season. That was with a rookie version of Fields and a supporting cast that wasn’t all that different from what Getsy was given.
Perhaps we should not yet say the regression of the passing game from Fields’ first year to his second is concerning, but it is notable. Getsy must reverse the trend. Getting DJ Moore will help, as will hopefully having Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney for a full season. If Cole Kmet is the team’s fourth-best pass-catching option, the team will be in good shape.
It would be unreasonable to expect the Bears to suddenly have a top ten offense or, probably, even an above-average passing game. But they should at least be competent. With the pass catchers the Bears have, the offensive coordinator should be able to scheme up opportunities for the quarterback to move the ball through the air.
If Fields isn’t able to take advantage of those openings, there is another conversation to be had. But Fields is far from the only question the Bears have on offense; the play caller has to prove himself and has the opportunity to do just that.