Comparing your developing quarterback to Aaron Rodgers is generally a nonstarter in the NFL, especially with the Bears. Coaches are hardwired to avoid it for obvious reasons. It’s an unfair comparison, and all it can do is set the bar too high.
It should be noted, then, that Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy dared to bring up Rodgers — unprompted, even — when asked about Justin Fields’ second-half performance against the 49ers, which was a marked improvement on a terrible first half.
“I was impressed with the way he communicated in that game, really impressed,” said Getsy, who coached Rodgers for the previous three seasons. “You talk about Aaron – one of the coolest things about coaching Aaron is you hear him say exactly what happened every game. The detail is amazing. It’s flawless. And Justin has had a lot of these cool conversations with us in the game [against the 49ers]so it was fun to be a part of it.
I crack up every time. The offensive coordinator/head coach/quarterback whisperer extolling the virtues of a developing quarterback that all elite QBs possess – athleticism, leadership, instinct, attention to detail, mastery of the group, ability to learn and scholar type recall. And then it all falls apart because he’s just not as accurate as Rodgers or Tom Brady. Or he can’t think on his feet right now. Or he’s not in a very good attack. There is always something.
It’s unclear if Getsy will be any different, but if first impressions are worth anything, it looks like Fields is in good hands. Getsy’s patient, methodical approach seems well-suited to an offense still in formation and a quarterback with a long way to go.
Players seem to have genuine respect for Getsy, often crediting him unprompted when asked about the direction of the offense — such as his persistence in the running game against the 49ers. And Fields seems to notice and appreciate the difference with his choppy rookie season under Matt Nagy.
“He’s been great with everything,” Fields said. “The footwork and the timing, playing on time and the little quarterback details – like different moves in the pocket. He knows what exercises to work on, what I have to work on. He was great. I love having him here.
Early results were modest but positive. Fields completed 8 of 17 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns with an interception for an 85.7 passer rating against the 49ers. But he was better at the end than at the start – a 2.8 passer rating in the first half, a 145.8 assist rating in the second half. For what it’s worth, it’s the opposite of last season against the 49ers, when Fields was 118.6 in the first half and 47.6 in the second half in a 33 loss. -22 at Soldier Field.
“I was really impressed with how he handled every situation,” Getsy said. “Like how we got to talk about what happened when you’re backed up and then he throws that interception [in the first half]. The whole time, this guy was freezing. He was ready to go. There was no misfortune to me in this young man. That’s what’s been so cool about him.
While many are looking for a breakthrough from Fields – that defining “finish” moment – Getsy envisions step-by-step progress.
“I just want to keep growing it, and we’ll keep getting better every day,” Getsy said. “He’s a young guy, and I have to remember that too. I too have to be patient. »
Patience is one thing, but the Packers are another. Every start for a Bears quarterback at Lambeau Field matters. If Fields steps back, that’s part of the process. If he takes two steps forward, it could be a giant leap for the Bears.