Luke Getsy: The most important man at Halas Hall
The Bears’ offensive coordinator has a potential franchise quarterback in Justin Fields. But with a largely unproven supporting cast around him, it’s Getsy’s job to devise a scheme that makes the most of what he’s got and gives Fields a chance to flourish.
Tight end Cole Kmet made the play of the day at training camp when he leaped between two defenders for a nifty catch of a Justin Fields pass for a gain of 40-plus yards down the middle of the field on a seam route in a seven-on-seven drill Thursday.
“That’s a throw we’ve been working on a lot this offseason, so it was pretty cool to execute that today down the field,” Kmet said. “[I] knew exactly where he was gonna throw that, and with the leverage I had on the guy, that was cool to see. We’ll definitely build on that.”
We’ll see about that. The seam route to the tight end for a big play downfield has been one of the biggest false positives of almost any Bears training camp. It looks so good in Bourbonnais or Halas Hall, and when the season starts, it’s almost like it never happened. The Bears’ longest pass play to a tight end last year was Fields’ 28-yard pass to Jimmy Graham against the -Steelers.
That’s why offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is the most important man at Halas Hall these days — more important than Fields or Matt Eberflus or Roquan Smith. It’s Getsy’s job to design an offense and execute a game plan that gives a group of predominantly unproven, unestablished NFL players a chance to produce like never before.
If his offense is going to make a quarterback out of Fields, it’s also going to have to make a right tackle out of Larry Borom, an offensive line out of Borom, Sam Mustipher/Michael Schofield, Lucas Patrick, Cody Whitehair and Riley Reiff/Braxton Jones, a wide receiver out of Equanimeous St. Brown, Velus Jones or N’Keal Harry and a complete tight end out of Kmet.
“The system’s not meant to make somebody better than what they are,” Getsy said. “The system is meant to keep the defense honest and the similarity in the way that you attack them, so they’re seeing the same things, but getting different things at them. And then it’s our job as coaches to get the guys in position so they can be the best they can be.”
After two training-camp practices without pads, it’s way too early to make any judgments on Getsy’s offense. All anybody knows about the Bears’ offense at this point is that it’s not Matt Nagy’s. But whether or not it’s by the design of the offense, the individual parts of the Bears’ offense are going to have to be better than people think and more productive than they’ve been.
“That’s what we’re in the process of figuring out,” Getsy said. “I think we have a pretty good handle on the guys. But we haven’t played football yet. When we start playing real football, I think all those answers start happening a little bit more true in what we can do and what we need to stay away from and what we need to work on.”
So far, the offense has looked like a unit doing things for the first time.
“We’re just getting back at this thing,” Getsy said. “For me, it’s the lack of execution that I’m focused on — that’s what [ticks] me off more than anything right now is getting that out of there and guys knowing what the heck to do.”
As for optimism, for now a Fields downfield throw to Kmet will have to do. And Fields is a great starting point for any offensive coordinator.
“That guy, he’s a natural-born-leader type of guy,” Getsy said. “So we’re lucky to have a guy like that leading this thing.”
In time, we’ll see if the Bears will be a true run-first team, if they’ll have a screen game and the diversified weaponry — wideouts, running backs and tight ends — to keep defenses on their heels and create the conflict of assignment that gets receivers open. One thing is certain about this offense — everything’s going to have to be well-coordinated.