LAKE FOREST – Rookie camps are almost all about preparing the youngsters to compete, be evaluated and for them to try to impress as young men and establish an image in their coaches’ minds.
We have no better feel today for how good a football players the Bears’ rookies are than we did last Thursday night before camp started.
So, for me, watching this weekend the most important rookie on the team was offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
If the offense isn’t better at the end of 2022 than it was at the end of last season, and if Justin Fields hasn’t taken a giant step forward toward franchise quarterback status, the Bears’ whole rebuilding plan will have to be reimagined.
With head coach Matt Eberflus’ well-earned reputation as an excellent defensive coach, the lion’s share of that responsibility will fall on first-time coordinator Getsy with just eight years experience in the league as an assistant.
On Sunday, Getsy talked about rookie camp and his first few months as an O.C.
“This weekend was all about giving these guys an introduction to how we do things, you know your process,” Getsy said. “Setting the standard is what this weekend is all about.”
And where is his relationship with Fields?
“That’s extremely important,” Getsy said. “I was raised on that – the play-caller and the quarterback have to have a great relationship. We have to be on the same page, always.
“That’s where I’ve felt like (Fields has) 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. "
Getsy knows how dependent he is on Fields and was asked what he can accomplish with him just between now and training camp.
“I mean, man ,there’s a lot. We’re working though this thing step by step,” Getsy said. “We’re making sure that we master, in order to be able to master our craft we have to master each step. So we’re just, we’re staying on track. I think he’s, if anything, ahead of pace.”
Outside of Halas Hall concern No. 1 for Fields and Getsy is clearly whether Fields will get the help he needs to compete and grow.
There are six second-and third-year quarterbacks, and Seattles’ Drew Lock, that teams will be desperate to see arrive this season to avoid starting over. Looking at just their receivers here are their targets:
Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville): WRs Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones, Jr., Zay Jones, Laviska Shenault Jr.; TEs Evan Engram, Dan Arnold.
Zach Wilson (N.Y. Jets): WRs Corey Davis, Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Denzel Mims; TEs C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin.
Trey Lance (San Francisco): WRs Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk; TE George Kittle.
Mac Jones (New England): WRs DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, N’Keal Henry, Nelson Agholor, Tyquan Thornton; TEs Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith.
Davis Mills (Houston): WRs Brandin Cooks, Chris Conley, Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett, John Metchie III.
Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia): WRs DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor; TE Dallas Goedert.
Drew Lock (Seattle): WRs Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf; TEs Noah Fant, Will Dissly.
Some are better than others, but there is little debate, if any, Fields’ crew of WRs Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown, Velus Jones and TE Cole Kmet is the least accomplished or promising.
So I asked Getsy how worried he is that lack of experience and proven talent will hinder Fields’ growth?
“I think we’re in a situation where it’s more … my experiences are when you’re new to a quarterback rather than how much ball you’ve played in this league,” Getsy said.
“I think it’s just that experience of playing with the quarterback and teaching him the body languages, the signals you wanna send to him when you’re ready to make a break. It’s been getting better every single day.”
For now we can only hope Getsy is right, more so for his sake than anyone else.
How’s it going step-by step with Fields? Getsy says with a grin and several snickers, “We’re climbing, we’re climbing, we’re climbing, that’s all that matters.”