CHICAGO — At 0-2, the Chicago Bears are scraping for answers.
The Bears made big headlines with the resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams on Wednesday and double media sessions with quarterback Justin Fields, who suggested coaching had, at least in part, led him to “robotic” play.
Well before coordinator Luke Getsy spoke Thursday morning, everyone was on the same page and committed to finding a spark for an offense that looks in many ways like the 2022 Bears — minus all the explosive runs by the quarterback.
“I’m not going to make an assumption of what he said,” Getsy said. “I’m going to reflect on what he actually said to me and what he said to our group. As far as that goes, as (Matt Eberflus) said, it’s an open book.”
Like it or not, the Bears have distractions that come with the territory for some struggling organizations, just usually not as early as Week 3 and leading into a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champions. The road game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday is another painful reminder of what could have been when the Bears had their choice of quarterbacks in the 2017 draft and went with Mitch Trubisky instead of Patrick Mahomes.
“There are a lot of great quarterbacks in the class, and I feel like a lot of us are real close,” Mahomes told me a couple of hours after a private workout he had with the Bears on the Texas Tech campus in the pre-draft process. “But I just feel like I can do a lot of things that other quarterbacks can’t do.”
Mahomes does a lot of things better than nearly every quarterback who has played the game. The Bears’ blunder, which has been well-chronicled, has set the franchise back as far as the Chiefs’ stroke of genius to trade up and select him with the No. 10 pick has elevated that franchise. The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls since. The Bears are on their third head coach and fourth offensive coordinator since choosing Trubisky and have finished 30th, 21st, 29th, 26th, 24th and 28th in total offense since that fateful draft.
The Chiefs (1-1) enter the matchup trying to iron out some problems. They’ve scored only 37 points, the running game hasn’t been particularly efficient and Mahomes, the NFL’s reigning MVP, still is trying to develop timing with his wide receivers. Kadarius Toney leads Chiefs wideouts with six receptions and has been an injury-prone drop machine. We call those first-world problems.
Which brings us back to the Bears, who are desperate to find some momentum on offense with Fields and flip the script. General manager Ryan Poles met with reporters Thursday morning in an effort to reset the tone and express faith in the coaches and Fields. It’s not a stretch to say he might have to consider a new quarterback after this season, but with 15 games remaining, the Bears aren’t going to abandon hope.
“You’ve got a young quarterback trying to figure it out,” Poles said. “You have a guy who hasn’t had the cleanest start to his career who last year had to put the team on his back, do some unbelievable things athletically. Now he gets talent around him and has to figure out and balance when to do those cool things athletically, when to lean on others and that is sometimes a gray place to live in. That takes time.”
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