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With every new coaching staff or general manager for the Chicago Bears, I think they can't possibly be more disappointing and embarrassing than the last. But somehow, this organization always finds a way. Ever since firing Lovie Smith (and aside from one stand-out season in 2018), the Bears have been a slow-motion train wreck and can't seem to do anything right.

Drafting Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick in 2021 seemed like a slam dunk. But the Bears have squandered the pick with coaching staffs who seem completely unwilling to play to Justin Fields' strengths, and the offense has floundered.

I get that it's Fields' second year, and the Bears just hired a new coach and are in a rebuilding year. I've tried to temper my expectations and be patient. But it's hard to remain patient when there is a complete lack of any signs of development or forward progress. This is one of the worst offenses in the league, and it seems to be getting worse.

Justin Fields frustrated
Photo credit: Micheal Reaves, Getty Images
I'd be frustrated too if I were Justin Fields and have to put up Eberflus' and Getsy's awful play-calling.

It would be easy to blame Fields, and say that he's just a bad player and a bust. And yes, he does have some mechanical and accuracy issues to clean up, and he also needs to make decisions faster. It's just his second year; those things will hopefully come in time. But I don't think it's that simple. Matt Eberflus and Luke Getsy are refusing to take advantage of Justin Fields' physical talents. He runs a 4.44-second 40-yard dash. He is one of the fastest players on the team, and one of the fastest players on the field. Yet the Bears are not calling any designed QB runs, or read options, or even much in the way of rollout passes or designed bootlegs to get him out of the pocket where he excels as a dual-threat passer. They did a little bit of rolling out here and there in the loss to the Commanders, and were generally successful. So why aren't they doing more of it, especially in critical situations?

In the loss to the Commanders, Fields ran 12 times for 88 yards, and almost scored 2 TDs on the ground (in a game in which the Bears only scores 7 points!). Yet I don't think a single one of those runs was a designed QB run or read option. When he gets outside the pocket, it's also rarely because the play was a designed rollout. Usually, it's because he's flushed out by the pass rush and lack of an open receiver. Yet these plays are often his most successful, as both a passer and a runner. Some of his best highlights of the year have started with him getting outside the pocket.

What the hell is this coaching staff thinking?! From a management and team-building perspective, who the hell drafts a player like Fields, and then hires a coaching staff that refuses to play to that player's strengths? If the Bears don't want to utilize Fields' talents, then they should trade him away for a pocket passer and some draft picks. If they want to stick with Fields, then they should fire offensive coordinator Luke Getsy (and maybe also head coach Matt Eberflus) now and bring in coaches who are willing to gameplan around Fields' skillset. This problem isn't going to just go away with more development. Luke Getsy's play-calling is simply, fundamentally incompatible with how Justin Fields plays football.

Eberflus and Getsy
Photo Credit Kamil Krzaczynski Associated Press
Eberflus and Getsy are drawing up awful offensive gameplans that don't utilize their QB's natural talents.

Of course, it doesn't help that Fields doesn't have many weapons around him. The combination of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert in the backfield is a potent one-two punch. But the complete inability of the team to throw the ball, and the play-caller's unwillingness to use Fields in the running game, means that defenses can key entirely on the running backs. The offense is averaging less than 300 yards and only 15 1/2 points per game.

The Bears lack any serious receiving threats. I like Darnell Mooney. He's a good player. But I think he's a good #2 receiver; not a #1. Mooney would be much better with another top-caliber receiver pulling some of the attention away from him.

If the Bears could somehow arrange a trade for someone like Keenan Allen or Mike Williams from the Chargers, or Chris Godwin from the Buccaneers, or maybe D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett from the Seahawks, then maybe Mooney could excel against opponents' own #2 DB.. If the Bears could somehow pull off a trade for a quality receiver like that, then I think Fields' play would improve dramatically -- but only if the coaching staff recognizes his potential as a running quarterback. If they keep forcing him to be a pocket passer, I don't think he will ever reach his potential.

If I were coaching the Bears, I would take a good, long look at what the Ravens are doing with Lamar Jackson and what the Bills are doing with Josh Allen. I would design an offensive playbook that puts both David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert in the backfield, and play some option and triple option schemes from those sets. Defenses will have a much harder time defending against 3 legitimate running threats from the backfield. That will open up Fields to run some bootleg, rollout, and play action passes with speedy receivers like Mooney and Velus Jones Jr. running some crossing routes across the field.

Lamar Jackson option
Photo credit: Mark Bullock, the Atlantic
Josh Allen
Photo credit: SportTechie
I would model the Bears' offense off of a combination of what the Ravens and Bills are doing..

In fact, this is exactly what I did for my Madden 23 Bears Franchise. I didn't like the Bears' default Eberflus playbook (which seemed largely based on last year's Matt Nagy playbook, since Madden 23 was developed without knowing exactly what Eberflus' offense would look like). So I created a new playbook in which I basically took half of the Ravens' playbook, half of the Bills' playbook, and a few plays from other teams here and there.

We can see how well the defense holds up in 1-on-1 man coverage while they're trying to account for 2 running backs showing a power running look and have to leave a linebacker or safety in a spy role to watch Fields on any potential keepers. Or no, we won't, because that isn't what Chicago is doing, and it doesn't look like it's even remotely close to what they are going to do.

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