The Chicago Bears had their OTAs get underway this week with fresh faces and a new coaching regime present. We got our first look at Justin Fields working with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and head coach Matt Eberflus directing the defense.
It should be noted that it’s only May. OTAs give football fans the fuel they need to get excited for the upcoming season, so it’s easy to overreact to reports coming out of these practices. In the end, it’s just practice. Everything can change once the pads come on.
OTAs will continue through late May and into early June. Here are some notes/takeaways from our first look at the 2022 Chicago Bears.
Excitement For Fields Is Building
It was inevitable.
Arguably the most exciting prospect the Bears have ever had at quarterback, it’s going to be tough to contain excitement for Fields in year two.
The weapons around Fields, specifically at wide receiver, are still a question mark. But his mobility, willingness to throw deep, and arm strength, can all overcome this, in a best case scenario.
That also hinges on the work done by Getsy. We saw very clearly last year how much poor coaching and gameplans can ruin an offense.
We’ve already seen Getsy working with Fields on his footwork, changing which foot he drops back on and eliminating unnecessary motion in his windup. It’s refreshing to see this kind of work being put in. Getsy knows that any success he has with Fields and this offense will put him in the running for a head coaching job in the future.
That kind of opportunity will not only benefit Getsy, but the Bears and Fields.
Offensive Philisophy For Chicago Bears
With the seemingly lack of talent at wide receiver, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the Bears will focus and rely upon the run game.
It’s what they did last year. The Bears have the luxury of two running backs who they feel comfortable with handling major carries. In today’s NFL, it’s crucial to have fresh legs in the backfield due to the physicality of the position.
An outside zone run scheme figures to involve Khalil Herbert more in his second year, utilizing his one-cut ability. That doesn’t mean David Montgomery can’t have a stellar season himself, who is excellent at breaking tackles with his own jump cuts and moves.
An early surprise has been Khari Blasingame’s role in the offense. He was seen often as the lead blocker in practice and the Bears expect to use him more than just a blocker. Comparisons to Kyle Juszczyk in San Francisco have been floated around. It takes the right mind and scheme to properly utilize a fullback in a modern day NFL offense and the Bears seem open to the idea.
The fact that the Bears signed a fullback early in the offseason should tell us that they at least value the position in their offense.
Kyler Gordon Is Making Plays
Second-round pick Kyler Gordon was penciled in as the starting cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson from the moment he was drafted. It was a huge position of need after the revolving door at the CB2 spot in 2021.
His athletic ability has been on display and has drawn high praise from the coaching staff and players. Johnson even said he loves it that Gordon is getting the opportunity to play right away.
And he should. The best way to improve yourself is through reps, especially as a high draft pick. There’s no reason to shelf him at any point in 2022.
The hot quote that has been tossed around by Eberflus is that Gordon has been “lighting it up” in practice.
Gordon provides the Chicago Bears a high upside prospect at a premium position. Paired with Johnson, who took a step forward in 2021, we could be looking at one of the better CB duos in the league.
Gordon and Johnson’s career paths will begin the same way. Johnson, a second-round pick in 2020, started as a rookie. While the front seven on defense is being retooled, the secondary for the most part is set, thanks to the two second-round picks by the Bears.
Johnson, Gordon, Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker in the secondary on paper has to excite Eberflus and the organization.