LAKE FOREST — There is one main question that takes precedent among all others for the Bears this season.
Will Justin Fields take a leap in Year 3 and show that he has improved as a passer in 2023?
The answer to that question will have a major impact on how the Bears perform this season. Fields is going into his second season of Luke Getsy’s system. Ryan Poles traded for a No. 1 wide receiver in DJ Moore. And the Bears’ general manager also signed Nate Davis in free agency and drafted Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall pick.
Fields has far more continuity, weapons and protection this season than he has ever had as a pro. There are no more excuses. It’s time for Fields to show what he can be in the NFL as a passer.
Even though Fields had limited snaps this preseason, Getsy has seen the improvements in the 24-year-old signal caller.
“I think I’ve said it in here before,” Getsy said. “Just the comfortability of what’s going on around him now is way further along than it was. Knowing not only what his particular assignment is but being able to direct traffic around him all that makes everybody else’s job a lot easier so I think that’s something that’s definitely stood out.”
Getsy was also asked in Thursday’s press conference how Fields has specifically improved with his downfield throws?
“I dunno how specifically, but I think he’s improved in every facet of throwing the football, and to who he’s throwing to, and feeling more comfortable in the way he’s doing that,” Getsy said. “When you know where someone’s gonna be, when they’re supposed to be there, there’s a lot of comfort in a quarterback that can let it loose. I think being in Year 2 in the system slash having a really good offseason with these guys and a good training camp, I think I would have to agree with that.”
Fields’ ability to win games through the air will be under the microscope this entire season. He broke NFL records with his legs, but there is still a lot for him to prove with his arm.
After Fields rushed for 1,143 yards last season, there will likely be an emphasis to try and mitigate what Fields can do as a runner and force him to play from the pocket. If that’s what defenses attempt to do, Fields will be ready to throw from the pocket.
“I mean, yeah, that’s fine with me,” Fields said. “It is what it is. I’ve been there today. Like I said, we’ve looked at the defense and react to it. So … whichever way we got to beat ‘em, that’s the way we’re gonna do it. Yeah.”