When the Chicago Bears named Matt Eberflus as the franchise’s 17th head coach in team history, one of the main questions about the hire was who Eberflus would bring in for his offensive staff.
With Justin Fields’ development being crucial to the success of the organization moving forward, the Bears needed to surround him with coaches and assistants that would help maximize his talents.
Four days after Eberflus was hired, the Bears began assembling those key members. The team announced former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy would be the Bears’ offensive coordinator.
Getsy – 37 – has spent all seven years of his NFL coaching experience with the Packers. And of course, that means he has worked primarily with veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
In Chicago, Getsy will go from a quarterback who has had 14 years of NFL experience to Justin Fields, who is entering Year 2.
For Getsy to be successful in Chicago, here are the top three questions that need to be answered.
1. How does Getsy transition from coaching Aaron Rodgers to Justin Fields?
There is a good chance Rodgers will be named the MVP this season, making it the fourth time he has won the award and this being his second straight one. For three of those seasons (2014, 2020 and 2021), Getsy has been with the Packers.
Back in 2014, when Getsy first joined the Packers as an offensive quality control coach, Rodgers was already 30 years old and had started 87 games in the NFL leading up to that season.
Getsy came into the NFL and worked with an experienced quarterback from the beginning. In Chicago, that won’t be the case.
Maybe it helps that Getsy was around Jordan Love – the Packers’ No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Even though Love was the backup, Getsy has had some experience working with quarterbacks who are at completely different points in their respective careers.
Still, Getsy is going to have to assess where Fields is at in his development and construct an offense that complements his current strengths. As the season progresses, he will have to be detailed when teaching the offense as the playbook continues to expand.
In Eberflus’ introductory press conference, he emphasized that “coaches are really just teachers.” And in Getsy’s first year with the Bears, he will have to do more teaching than he has ever done in Green Bay.
If Getsy can make a smooth transition from Rodgers to Fields, then he will put himself in a better position to succeed in his first season in Chicago.
2. How does Getsy handle calling plays for the first time?
When Getsy left the Packers after the 2017 season, he went on to become the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Mississippi State. Despite having the offensive coordinator title, Bulldogs head coach Joe Moorhead called the plays.
Outside of some limited experience calling plays in the preseason, Getsy will be a first-time play-caller with the Bears. He had to get his start somewhere, and it was reported the Chicago job was appealing to Getsy because he would get his first shot to call plays.
It’s a great opportunity for Getsy, but the job also brings with it a lot of pressure. Along with calling the offensive plays, he will be the offensive architect and won’t have Matt LaFleur looking over his shoulder to provide guidance. This is Getsy’s show now.
Fields will be learning another new offense with someone who’s also going to be learning on the job. Like Fields, Getsy will have his ups and downs as he tries to find his rhythm as a play-caller. When defenses adjust to the Bears’ offensive game plan, it will be up to Getsy to figure out how to counter the opposing team’s adjustments and to capitalize on particular matchups by calling the right plays.
Little things as well like verbalizing the plays in a timely manner and relaying the calls to Fields will have to get worked out in the offseason. And like anything, it will take repetition to get everything in sync.
If Getsy gradually understands the subtle nuances on how to become an effective play-caller, the offense will have an opportunity to make progress next season.
3. How does Getsy construct an offensive without Davante Adams?
Davanate Adams is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. And it’s clear the Packers have made it an emphasis to make him the primary target for Rodgers.
Adams has led the Packers (or been tied) in targets, receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns since 2017. In the last three seasons since Getsy returned to Green Bay, Adams has been targeted 445 times compared to Aaron Jones’ 137 targets, which is the second-most in that time span.
Even though Adams is more than capable of winning his one-on-one matchups consistently, the Packers still have made adjustments when they needed to. In the Bears’ second meeting against the Packers in Green Bay this season, cornerback Jaylon Johnson said there were some changes made at halftime “that made covering him (Adams) very hard.”
Obviously, there is no telling how much of those changes Getsy was involved in, but that entire Packers coaching staff had to be in some kind of agreement to execute the game plan. Adams finished the game with 10 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns after only having one target in the first quarter.
The Bears – clearly – don’t have a Davante Adams type of player on their roster. Most teams don’t. So, it will be interesting to see how Getsy’s offense looks with Chicago. Will it still heavily utilize one wide receiver? Or will the targets be more evenly distributed in Chicago? Those questions can only be answered once the season begins.
The Bears’ most productive wide receiver last season was Darnell Mooney, who caught 81 passes for 1,055 yards and added four touchdowns. Although Mooney set career highs in his second season, he still needs to prove he can handle being a No. 1 receiver.
Getsy will learn quickly that Chicago and Green Bay have some major differences in offensive personnel, which makes his first time being a play-caller challenging.
But, if Getsy can help this offense become a respected unit that can win games, then Eberflus and the rest of the team will know they hired the right coach for the job.