CHICAGO (AP) — Luke Getsy noticed how important the relationship that quarterback Aaron Rodgers had with his position coach and offensive coordinator was during his first stint on Green Bay's staff eight years ago.
That type of connection is something he'll try to develop with quarterback Justin Fields as the Chicago Bears' new offensive coordinator. On Thursday, the Bears introduced Getsy, new defensive coordinator Alan Williams and special teams coordinator Richard Hightower.
Green Bay's quarterbacks coach for the past three seasons, Getsy said he learned it's about “being able to find different ways to teach people to whatever style that they like, to be able to dive in and get the best out of somebody."
It's a big job ahead for Getsy as he tries to get the most out of Fields and help turn around a struggling offense. And his is just one part of a major reboot in Chicago after a 6-11 season. The Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy and replaced them with longtime Kansas City Chiefs executive Ryan Poles and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
Getsy and Williams vowed to tailor the calls to the players' strengths rather than squeeze them into a scheme.
"I may come in here and say I love zone coverage and our guys may be phenomenal man coverage players,” Williams said. “So you know what? We’re going to man.”
Getsy said he's also taking more of a collaborative approach and not necessarily installing “Luke Getsy’s offense.” That's a change after Nagy, who implemented the system he coordinated under Andy Reid in Kansas City.
“This isn’t really gonna be that," Getsy added. "Because this is gonna be a collective group doing this together, that we’re gonna build something that’s gonna be our own.”
Williams is not sure how long it will take for the Bears to adapt to the 4-3 from the 3-4 Chicago has played the past seven seasons. But he didn't sound too concerned.
“Good players are good players no matter what scheme they’re in,” said Williams, who coached safeties the past four years in Indianapolis. “And we have good players.”
Chicago ranked sixth in the league in total defense and fourth in sacks this past season under former coordinator Sean Desai. But the Bears had just 16 takeaways, tied for 26th.
Age could be a concern on the edge, with Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack both in their 30s. Then again, Quinn set a franchise record with 181/2 sacks after recording just two the previous year — his first in Chicago. Mack got off to a good start with six sacks in seven games before having season-ending foot surgery.
“We’re in the age of our athletes taking care of their bodies, eating better, going, playing longer,” said Williams, who was Minneapolis' defensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013. “You’re a sports guy. I know we’re on defense, but Tom Brady just retired. So, when you go ‘middle-aged,’ I think you need to broaden that term. I’m not sure what middle-aged is. ... As far as I know, those guys are still productive.”
Getsy will look to fix an offense that ranked among the NFL's worst. That starts with developing Fields, the former Ohio State star who threw more interceptions (10) than touchdown passes (seven) to go with an unimpressive 73.2 passer rating. Fields also missed time because of rib and ankle injuries. And the Bears lost eight of the 10 games he started.
Getsy said he came away “super impressed” from his interview with Fields at the combine last year and it was more of the same when they talked recently.
“I’m very optimistic about the type of person that he is, and I think the will and the desire, that he wants to be a great leader too," Getsy said. "So I think it’s a really cool opportunity with a young guy who I think has a really good drive.”
Note: The Bears hired Andre Curtis as safeties coach on Thursday. He spent the past seven seasons in Seattle and was the Seahawks' defensive passing game coordinator from 2018 to 2022.
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