5 Things the Bears Need to Do Correctly After Trading Justin Fields

Just because the Bears made a decision regarding Justin Fields doesn't mean they win a Super Bowl next year.

Nov 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws
Nov 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
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Design an Offense

If you have never been in an earthquake and want to know what one sounds like, it sounds exactly like the collective groan that comes out of Chicago on a Sunday when the Bears throw a screen pass on third and 15.

Former Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy gets the blame for this strategy, but he is far from original in this regard. This play has been called since even before Marc Trestman, though Trestman really made his mark on the inability for the Bears to be productive with screen passes. Of course, a running back draw to Walter Payton on third and 15 is always appreciated.

In 2022, we saw what happens when you play to a QB's strength instead of enforcing a system. Fields set all sorts of records for QB rushing marks and easily would have broken the season yardage record if he wasn't a little banged up and the Bears did not want to take a chance. But in 2023, they couldn't find the right balance and continued to have little success through the air. Fields routinely threw under 200 yards.

At a larger scale, look at what the Baltimore Ravens have done with Lamar Jackson. After two MVPs, it is clear that Baltimore may have cracked the code on how to optimize a dual threat quarterback and keep his longevity. Something that Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, and Randall Cunningham coaches never quite figured out.

Look at Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence. The only thing that changed between 2021 and 2022 was the coach. With Doug Pederson in 2022, he threw for 500 more yards, 13 more touchdowns, 9 less interceptions, and increased his passer rating by 26 points.

It was a famous argument point for pro-Fields supporters to say the offensive coordinator didn't give him a chance. Just get the right offensive coordinator and he would be exatly who we thought he would be. We will find out over the course of his career and every Bears fans out there will be rooting for him every step of the way.

Coaching does matter in the NFL and a creative offensive strategy that plays to the quarterback's strength as well as the strengths of D'Andre Swift, DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, and Cole Kmet will be demanded by Bears fans. The offensive position players, as a group, for the Bears are now as almost as elite as any team on the planet (think Eagles, 49ers, Bengals). Congrats to GM Ryan Poles.

2024 Bears OC Shane Waldron will not be given one moment of breathing room when the season starts. Losses are OK. Mistakes are OK. But if the Bears are in the game and they don't lose because they didn't trust their quarterback or because they played too conservative or because they couldn't get a first down in the last five minutes, progress will have been made.

By the way, do you know who lead the league in screen passes in 2023? It was the Kansas City Chiefs. Apparently, there is more to it than just avoiding a sack.