Luke Getsy's Explanation of Where Justin Fields is in His Development is Either Bizarre or Brilliant

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Luke Getsy’s Explanation of Where Justin Fields is in His Development is Either Bizarre or Brilliant

Chicago Bears

Patrick’s weekly game previews are becoming a treat for me. Not just because it takes something off my plate every Friday. But every week, I see an angle Patrick takes that I didn’t have a runway to take myself. This week, it came in his discussion point in highlighting Justin Fields as one of his Three Bears to watch.

Fields is off to a crummy start … by any standards. It’s bad. Even by traditional Bears quarterbacking standards where the bar is so low that it hasn’t been lifted since Sid Luckman laid it down upon his retirement in 1950. But let’s give it some perspective. Let’s extrapolate Fields’ numbers through four weeks across a full 17-game season:

  • 144/285 (50.75%), 2,002 passing yards, 8 TD, 17 INT, 58.7 rating; 144 carries, 625 rushing yards, 4 TD.

It’s just one month. Four games. That’s all. So, we could chalk some of it to a small sample in a new system with a bunch of misfit toys masquerading as blockers and pass-catchers. Nevertheless, that stat line is simply not good. And there is no way around it.

And yet, Bears Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy had an oddball way of talking through it. Here’s what Getsy had to say, as transcribed by reporter Chris Emma:

“I don’t think he’s had a rough month. I think he’s gotten better each week. I think he’s grown tremendously. It’s not easy. We’re playing good football teams. It’s not easy to become the level of quarterback that he wants to become, and I know he can become. The important thing is that we stay focused, keep our eyes on that process and we make sure we get better each and every week. I believe we’re in that phase.”

On the one hand, Getsy’s words are bizarre. Who frames a quarterback’s performance in this way? Especially when the eye test and the numbers would confirm Fields is off to a rough start. What is there to gain? These press availabilities are a great place to help bridge the gap and for coaches to put into words that others can comprehend to assess the situation. But how is that explanation helpful in helping us understand how he got here in the first place? Or when he’ll get out of it to the other end? I don’t want to compare Getsy to Matt Nagy this early in his tenure as lead play-caller. But my struggles to wrap my mind around his words take me to a dark place.

But on the other hand, I suppose there is an argument to be made for Getsy’s words being low-key brilliant. Fields is wearing it on the field with all the sacks and hits he is taking. So, I imagine hearing from your coach that the sky isn’t falling has to come with some sense of relief. Often, positive reinforcement can be a more valuable teaching tool than the continued berating of a point when things aren’t going swimmingly. Perhaps this is Getsy’s way of publicly telling Fields I got your back! without explicitly using those words. And, hey, maybe it works out in the end? Bonus points for creativity, I suppose.

I feel as if the underlying message in Getsy’s press conference has less to do about where Fields is right now and instead has more to do with building up the quarterback one step at a time. There is an awful lot of trust going into a process with a second-year quarterback and first-time play-caller. But growth is rarely linear, so we could still be in for some rough weeks ahead. However, if a few rough months pays off in more significant strides down the stretch, then the juice could be worth the squeeze.

You can watch Getsy’s full press conference below:



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.