It was a straightforward explanation from tight end Cole Kmet of how the passing game started to click in Monday night’s second half of a 29-27 loss to Pittsburgh.
Once again, however, this is a testament to how the Bears brought in rookie quarterback Justin Fields through the offseason, training camp and preseason.
Or rather, did not take him.
“You know like we’ve had more reps with Justin and you know we’ve had him at the helm and so on, things just naturally improved and we’re feeling kind of,” Kmet mentioned. “You know, not only me, but I also think of other receivers.
“And you know we’re getting somehow improving so I think that’s going to continue to improve as the year goes on.”
Kmet had six receptions, a season-high, for a career-high 87 yards in the game, and five receivers caught six passes of 20 yards or more, the most explosive passes played by the Bears in a single game. since November 2018.
If he ran into a struggling defense, then he would be easily overlooked. However, the Steelers had the 13th-place pass defense early in the game and protected a two touchdown lead.
Fields rolling left and throwing his right hand across his body to Kmet for 25 yards and Darnell Mooney for a 16-yard TD straight to target only showed how much better the receivers are in sync with their quarterback.
Kmet and Mooney had been frequent targets in the past for Fields, but when he found Allen Robinson for four receptions and 69 yards he got a 50 yards for Marquise Goodwin and a 28 yards for Jimmy Graham almost unused on a seam. well covered. route, it has shown that hard work pays off.
“You know, as Justin and I get to know each other, you know, and, you know, more reps with each other, I think it’s going to continue to grow,” Kmet said. “So it’s obviously good for both of us and for the other receivers as well.
ALBERT BREER LOOKS AT PROBLEM PENALTIES FOR SI.COM
“You know, like I said, in training things went a little bit better and we just kind of have a better feeling for each other in the game.”
If Fields had thrown more to first-team receivers at training camp it would have helped, but especially in the offseason, when it really is less urgent to have a first-team passer tossing to home receivers. first team. Then maybe they would have had a better connection at this point.
They wouldn’t have had to play three or four games when Fields struggled to see the receivers open up.
Of course, it was all done that way because the Bears had decided Andy Dalton would be the starting quarterback and get all the first team shots.
It is not known if that would have made a difference in the record of wins and losses. But maybe Fields doesn’t look so badly prepared against Cleveland or start so slow against Green Bay. It’s hard to say. Maybe he sheds some light on it in the first half against the Steelers as well, and the Bears are 4-5 and are in the midst of an anemic NFC wildcard battle.
The coaching staff was a bit late for the party and hence the passing game as well.
It’s here now, apparently, and Fields, Kmet, and the others can advance to properly threaten the defenses.
It was enough to figure out who should work together and waste a lot of time in training camp as well as in the preseason.
Twitter: BearDigest @ onFanNation