Packers coach: ‘Matter of time’ before Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy becomes a head coach

New Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is just 38 and has never called a regular-season NFL play. But that didn’t stop his former boss, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, from making a prediction during this week’s NFL Scouting Combine.

SHARE Packers coach: ‘Matter of time’ before Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy becomes a head coach
“We’re going to miss him. But I think Chicago definitely got a real guy down there,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of new Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

“We’re going to miss him. But I think Chicago definitely got a real guy down there,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of new Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

Adrian Kraus/AP

INDIANAPOLIS — New Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is only 38 and has never called a regular-season NFL play. But that didn’t stop Packers coach Matt LaFleur, his former boss, from making a prediction during the NFL Scouting Combine this week.

“I think it’s a matter of time before he’s standing up at this podium as a head coach,” he said.

The path to a head-coaching job for a young offensive coordinator has become well-worn by now. The last coaching cycle alone, the Broncos hired 42-year-old Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, the Dolphins hired 38-year-old Mike McDaniel and the Vikings hired 36-year-old Kevin O’Connell. All three worked for offensive-minded head coaches who called their own plays.

Working for defense-first coach Matt Eberflus, Getsy has a different kind of opportunity. The Bears’ offensive success — if they can find any — would be directly traced to Getsy.

Now all he has to do is find a way to mold second-year quarterback Justin Fields into a consistently dynamic passer and runner. And find a way to protect him. And maximize what few explosive playmakers the Bears have. And drag the offense into the top half of the NFL in points for only the second time in 10 seasons.

If Getsy can do all that, he’ll make Bears fans forget his Packers roots. From 2014 to 2021, Getsy spent all but one season in Green Bay. He was the Packers’ quarterbacks coach and pass-game coordinator the last two years. All-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers has praised Getsy, unprompted, in two offseason interviews.

“It all starts with the type of person that you’re getting,” LaFleur said. “And, I mean, he’s a super-loyal dude, great family man, cares about everybody he’s around. His players feel that. I think he’s extremely detailed. He’s a really hard worker, always brings great ideas to the table. A great communicator. Brings, again, a lot of energy.

“We’re going to miss him. But I think Chicago definitely got a real guy down there.”

Eberflus knew he wanted someone from the Kyle Shanahan family of play-callers. Getsy connects to Shanahan through LaFleur.

“What family did they come from? And what style does that particular group play? And show? And the innovations they have with their plays,” Eberflus said. “That group to me has done that throughout, and that’s what brought me the interest in Luke throughout the whole process.

“I’ve been in the league almost 15 years now, and those guys you look at, you say, ‘They’re hard to defend, they’re very innovative in the first 15 [plays], they’re great coming out at halftime, they’re really good in situations.’ And that’s what attracted me to Luke.”

Getsy will put his own spin on the system, which features trademark outside zone runs for which the Bears have vowed to make their offensive linemen lighter and faster. He figures to run read-option plays with Fields, given his world-class (for a quarterback) speed. Getsy’s passing game might more closely resemble that of Joe Moorhead, his mentor and current Akron head coach. Parts of the offense that Getsy customized for Rodgers the last two years won’t work with a mere mortal at quarterback.

Getsy has said he wants to learn his players’ strengths before installing his offense, even questioning the definition of a playbook during the offseason. His offense will remain theoretical until the Bears begin their offseason program April 4. Once players report, though, Eberflus is confident Getsy can teach it to his guys.

“If you can’t take your message from the board and put it onto the players and then take it to the field . . . that’s what we want to have with each guy,” Eberflus said. “That’s what Luke brings to the table. Because I’ve had lengthy conversations with him about his style and how he goes about his business, and it’s been outstanding.”

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