Luke Getsy: ‘We won’t sacrifice winning the game’ for Justin Fields’ record
Fields needs 207 more rushing yards to break Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s season record, set in 2019. He has three games to get there.
Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy sat down Friday night to watch the Warriors and an unlikely hero: center Kevon Looney. With Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins out against the 76ers, Looney played the best game of his life. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists — one short of his first triple-double.
“He’s never had one before,” Getsy said Wednesday. “And I saw all those guys running to coach [Steve] Kerr, like, ‘Come on, dude, he just needs [one assist for] a triple-double’ — and they took him out of the game.”
Getsy knows one thing about the centerpiece of his own offense: If Justin Fields comes close to the NFL’s season rushing record for a quarterback, he’s not going to the bench.
“We won’t take him out of the game,” Getsy said with a smile.
Beyond that, though, the Bears won’t do anything different as Fields chases history in the last three games. Fields is the third quarterback to reach 1,000 rushing yards — he has exactly that — and needs 207 more to break Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s record, set in 2019.
Getsy is aware of Fields’ record chase — “I’m sure there’s times in games when you hit moments that it crosses your mind,” he said — but he won’t change his play-calling to boost Fields’ rushing yards.
“We won’t sacrifice winning the game — and usually him being a part of that is part of what we do anyway,” he said. “So I don’t think that’s going to be something we’re going to have to think about.”
That makes sense — Fields’ running gives the Bears the best chance to win, anyway. It will be interesting to see how the Bears handle the same question in two weeks, when they play what could be a meaningless season finale against the Vikings.
The Bears were in a similar situation against the Vikings in the 2014 finale when Matt Forte needed seven catches to tie the all-time record by a running back. In Marc Trestman’s last game as head coach, the Bears targeted Forte 12 times. Five came in the fourth quarter. With the Bears trailing by four on their final drive, Jay Cutler completed two passes to Forte to break Larry Centers’ record of 101 by one.
Fields setting the record, though, would be more of a validation of the Bears’ direction than Forte’s accomplishment. It would also be more fun — Fields’ thrilling runs are the reason to watch a three-win team each week.
When Fields scrambled on second-and-27 Sunday, he had less than a 1% chance to get a first down, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. His 39-yard run boosted the Bears’ chance of winning the game from 23.2% to 30.2%.
“What’s special with him is when we can get other people in space, he does a good job of finding them,” Getsy said. “And then when we get him in space, he does incredible things.”
His teammates noticed.
“A lot of the time on the sideline, my jaw was dropping,” running back Khalil Herbert said.
Bears players don’t talk about the record chase, tight end Cole Kmet said. Only after Sunday’s game were they told that Fields had reached 1,000 yards.
“History in the making,” Kmet said. “Not something you focus on in the day-to-day, but something you appreciate when it happens.”
Getsy appreciates it in real time. But it won’t change the plays on his call sheet.
“He’s made some incredible plays,” he said. “I think I’ve gone to [coach Matt Eberflus] every single time, and I’m like, ‘That was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.’
“To be able to say that multiple times is pretty cool.”