Can Justin Fields 'take over' NFL with help from Luke Getsy's scheme?

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Can Getsy's scheme help Fields 'take over' NFL with Bears? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Justin Fields has all the tools to be a great quarterback in the modern NFL. The Bears' second-year signal-caller has the arm talent to make throws to every level, elite athleticism to create off-schedule plays, high football IQ, and a desire to be one of the faces of the NFL.

"As a quarterback in this league, he wants to take over the league," wide receiver Darnell Mooney said of Fields after the Bears' first mandatory minicamp session. "He's already Justin Fields. He wants to be the best quarterback in the league. He's taken the stride to be there. I got unbelievable faith that he will be there, and his success is my success, so as long as he's doing good, I'm doing good, we're all doing good."

After a rookie season that was side-tracked by coaching malpractice in the form of Matt Nagy, Fields gets a clean slate with new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko.

Fields entered the offseason with direction to clean up his mechanics, learn Getsy's quarterback-friendly offense, and bring his teammates along with him.

Everyone from Eberflus on down has praised Fields' work ethic and focus this offseason, but the Ohio State product was honest about where he and the Bears' offense stood heading into the summer.

"So, right now, I'm just being honest, we're not ready to play a game right now," Fields said during Bears minicamp. "And when that time comes, we will be ready, so, right now, no, not ready to play a game.

"I think, for me, it's just not making the same mistake twice," Fields later said. "If you make that one mistake on a play, just don't do it again. If you ultimately keep getting better and keep growing, it'll be less mistakes each and every day, and of course, you'll be right where you want to be."

Fields and the offense struggled during the media viewing portions of OTAs and the first minicamp practice, including multiple interceptions. Fields finished Day 1 of minicamp with a pick-six, a batted pass, and an incompletion. Borderline dreadful stuff.

But the final two days of minicamp were a big improvement for the offense. Fields was sharp on Day 2 as he and the offense won the "move the ball" drill with a touchdown pass to Dante Pettis. On Day 3, Fields found the end zone multiple times in the red-zone period, hitting Cole Kmet and Mooney for scores.

Fields' ability to follow a bad outing with a good one further proves that he and Getsy's process might be succeeding.

"He is learning, but while he's learning, he's upset with mistakes," tight end Ryan Griffin said. "He's not OK with guys in the wrong place. He'll tell you that, and that's what you need in the leader of this offseason. An example would be some guy makes a [mental error], 'It's OK, we'll move on.' No, we get it corrected right there, and it starts with No. 1."

The Bears have been impressed with Fields' growth. But if his rookie season was any indication, the young quarterback needs the right guy pulling the strings for him to reach his ceiling. Someone who believes in him and whose system can bring out the best in Fields and his teammates.

Enter: Getsy.

"With the concepts that we have, with the players we have, I think everybody's catching on pretty quick," Fields said when asked if Getsy's system gives him confidence. "Like I said, they're throwing a lot at us right now, so, as long as we can manage to do everything right or do most of everything right and not make the same mistake again, I think we'll be just fine when that time comes around."

The quarterback-play-caller relationship is an essential one in the NFL. The quarterback must trust the play-caller will dial-up plays that allow him to play at his best, and the play-caller has to believe his quarterback can execute every part of the game plan at the highest level.

Building that relationship has been at the top of Fields and Getsy's to-do list during an offseason spent installing an offense the Bears believe will allow Justin Fields to be Justin Fields.

"That's extremely important," Getsy said of the quarterback and play-caller relationship. "I was raised on that — that the play-caller and the quarterback have to have a great relationship, and that's important. We have to be on the same page, always. That's where I've felt like he's grown, is he's communicating with me so well now, things that he's feeling, things that he sees, and so that part of it has just been tremendous, for a young guy to be able to do that. These three or four months that we've been together, it's been a lot of fun."

That relationship, the typical Year 1-to-Year 2 jump, and the Bears staff instilling confidence in Fields to be a leader have led to an offseason that has those around Halas Hall excited about what this season holds for the 23-year-old.

"He has a commanding leadership on the field, a legit field general," defensive tackle Justin Jones said of Fields. "He gets guys wound up, gets guys going, stuff like that."

"You just feel him in the huddle," Kmet said of what he sees as a different Fields from last year. "He's not just repeating the play, he's telling you the play, and there's a difference in that. That gives me confidence as a player out in the field. He's talking to each guy. It's not just a repeat-a-play, he's telling us a play, which is a difference."

The 2022 season will be a true Year 0 for the Eberflus and Ryan Poles' rebuild. The new regime reset the deck this offseason and will be able to truly reshape the roster in their image next offseason.

This fall will be all about Fields and Getsy. Anyone who watched Fields at Ohio State or turned on the television last year as he was dropping dimes against the Steelers or running away from the 49ers knows the talent and potential to be great is real.

Bears fans are pessimistic after being battered from decades of quarterback flops. That's understandable. But there's reason to believe this will be different. That the blend of Fields' unique talents and Getsy's take on the Shanahan tree will create an offensive symphony that Bears fans have been begging to see.

The offensive line and wide receiver corps will be issues this fall. There's no doubt. But it's on Getsy's scheme to mitigate those roster deficiencies and put everyone, especially Fields, in a position to succeed.  
If the Fields-Getsy blend can succeed, the Bears' rebuild will be off and running with the most essential piece already in place.

"I've played with a lot of quarterbacks over my careerー anybody can look that up, see who I've played withー Justin's right there," Griffin said. "Right there. I don't think anyone knows exactly how good he can be, but I'm excited. I'm really excited to see what he can do."

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