The offense the Chicago Bears are beginning to install is based on versatility, and the team is seeking as many players as it can find who can master multiple tasks.
That’s according to offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who spoke with the media Sunday morning after the Bears wrapped up a three-day rookie minicamp at Halas Hall that should get the newcomers up to speed when they’re mixed in with veterans later this month.
From the meeting room to the weight room to the huddle, first-year players got a crash course in how the Bears will conduct business. An update from Getsy was timely because so much change is expected for an offense that consistently has ranked near the bottom of the league in many key categories.
The Bears might open the season with only four offensive starters who were in the same role in Week 1 of 2021: left guard Cody Whitehair, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, running back David Montgomery and tight end Cole Kmet.
Here are three topics Getsy addressed.
1. The development of second-year quarterback Justin Fields is paramount to the rebuilding process.
If Fields solves the Bears’ decades-long struggle at the position, everyone from general manager Ryan Poles to coach Matt Eberflus and Getsy would get a huge head start in this process.
“I’ve been super impressed with him,” Getsy said. “There’s no one in this building that works harder than him. There’s no one that cares more than him. We’re off to a great start.
“He’s really accepted this challenge. We’re asking a lot of him to learn a lot of new things. He’s been a pleasure to work with.”
Getsy said the dynamic between him and Fields has been excellent and a buy-in from all parties is the only way Fields can perform dramatically better than he did as a rookie.
“I was raised on that — that the play caller and the quarterback have to have a great relationship,” Getsy said. “We have to be on the same page always.
“That’s where I’ve felt like he’s grown. He’s communicating with me so well now, things that he’s feeling, things that he sees, 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.”
2. Public concern about the depth chart at wide receiver does not reflect how the team feels.
Getsy said the receiver group — which is led by Mooney and includes Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown and third-round pick Velus Jones — is growing more comfortable with Fields.
Getsy said “guys were spinning a little” during the voluntary minicamp last month, but more time on task with Fields — with the receivers running routes on air — has helped.
“Of course everybody wants Davante Adams,” Getsy said. “But Davante wasn’t Davante until he became Davante. I think the system will enable some of these guys to play at their potential. We’ll give them an opportunity to show what they’ve got.
“It’s just that experience of playing with the quarterback and teaching him the body languages, the signals you want to send to him when you’re ready to make a break. You can see that happening every single day, how much more comfortable these guys are getting and how comfortable Justin is getting with those guys.”
3. Rookie receiver Velus Jones is all business.
Getsy said Jones arrived Thursday wearing a suit, and the former Tennessee and USC wideout also bought a whiteboard to aid with learning the offense on his own and has proved to be a good note taker.
“He’s a physically mature dude,” Getsy said. “He can handle this league — you can see that already. The speed just jumped at you on the tape. When that guy gets the ball in his hands, he looks like 4.3 on the field. Not many guys can do that, and that is what stood out about this guy. He has a chance to score every time he touches the ball.”
The key to Jones’ development will be helping him master different roles in the offense without stunting his progress. That can be a challenge for young wide receivers adjusting to the NFL.
“That’s what the whole offense is built around, the versatility of everyone,” Getsy said. “We want guys that can do a bunch of different things. We don’t want just one guy that can run down the field … (or) one guy that can run a choice route.
“He definitely has that versatility, so that’s really cool. It was fun to see this weekend.”