Despite QB Fields being last in league, Bears OC says playbook is already wide open
In a league with 32 teams, Bears quarterback Justin Fields currently ranks 32nd among NFL quarterbacks in pass attempts.
Some Bears fans might want their team to open up the playbook a bit more for Fields, the second-year quarterback with so much of the team's hopes riding on his shoulders. But in the eyes of Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, the playbook is already wide open.
"Open up the passing game?" Getsy said. "We do whatever we have to do to win games. So we've opened up the passing game. It's not like ... we've been intimidated to call a play by any means. We're calling the game we feel is best to attack with our matchups."
Through three games, Fields is 23-for-45 passing for 297 yards. For many NFL quarterbacks, that stat line could be achieved in one game. Fields has thrown 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Fields was particularly frustrated following Sunday's win over the Houston Texans. The Bears won, 23-20, but the passing game looked awful. They leaned on their defense and running back Khalil Herbert. Afterward, Fields said he played like "trash."
"I've had bad games before," Fields said this week at Halas Hall. "This isn't my first bad game I've ever had. Just looking at the past: What can you do to get better? What can you do to improve? Just how you look at situations that maybe you've had in the past like this and what'd you do to respond to it."
Fields ranks 32nd in passing yards, tied for last with several other QBs with only 2 touchdown passes and has suffered the sixth-most sacks with 10 in three games.
Some might look at Fields' 45 pass attempts in three games and see an offense that is afraid to trust its young quarterback. Getsy doesn't see it that way.
"Justin has so much that he has to handle throughout the game plan," Getsy said. "And he does such an unbelievable job with it. It's been more of a crutch for me because of how much he can handle. The receivers, the same thing. We ask them to do so many different splits and alignments and assignments. They've been rock stars."
Fields believes that his struggles early on this season are all part of the process. The Bears aren't going to give up on their young quarterback anytime soon.
In parting ways with former Bears quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Nick Foles over the offseason, new general manager Ryan Poles sent the message that this is Fields' team. There will be no QB controversies in Chicago this season. Backup Trevor Siemian is going to remain on the bench unless Fields suffers an injury.
Instead, the Bears have to figure out what Fields can and can't do. That will better inform Poles when he begins building his team for next year. So far, the coaching staff appears to have taken a conservative approach. No matter what Getsy says about the passing game being open, the numbers tell a story of their own.
David Montgomery sat out practice again Thursday due to an ankle injury. He has not practiced this week. Montgomery injured his ankle in the first quarter of Sunday's win over Houston.
Cornerback Jaylon Johnson (quad), linebacker Matt Adams (hamstring), tight end Ryan Griffin (Achilles) and safety Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) sat out practice Thursday due to injuries. Defensive end Robert Quinn (illness) and kicker Cairo Santos (personal) also missed practice.
Receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring), linebacker Roquan Smith (quad) and linebacker Sterling Weatherford (ankle) were limited Thursday.