One preseason game isn’t usually much to generate any real opinion on whether a new coach is better than a previous one. That doesn’t stop people from doing so. Matt Nagy left behind arguably one of the worst offensive legacies in Chicago Bears history, which is saying a lot. His units were notorious for being undisciplined, erratic, and lacking an identity. New offensive coordinator Luke Getsy had a huge mess to clean up when he arrived.
Former Bears quarterback Jim Miller has watched the offense’s progress throughout training camp. Then he called the action in the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. He can already tell Getsy will be much better for Justin Fields. He can tell based on the increased balance. The new scheme is built around running the football effectively, giving the quarterback more advantageous passing opportunities off play action. Miller told Brag Biggs of the Chicago Tribune how Nagy never would’ve embraced such an approach.
“It’s a different emphasis,” Miller said. “And there is a lot of carry-over. Andy Reid is West Coast but he is about 70-30 pass versus the run, and he’s kind of always been that way. This is going to be more run-based, more Rams style, more Minnesota style. The 49ers (and) Kyle Shanahan, they use (fullback Kyle) Juszczyk a lot, they do a lot of 12 (one running back, two wide receivers, two tight ends). Even look in Green Bay last year — the Packers were second in the NFL in 12 personnel…
…Nagy would have chucked it every down. He couldn’t control himself. No offense. I love the guy. You’ve got to do what is best to protect the young quarterback, whether it was Mitch (Trubisky) or this guy, and it’s got to be run-based first.”
Luke Getsy maintained a good balance with the first-team offense.
Fields dropped back to pass a total of ten times. He threw seven passes, scrambled once, and was sacked twice. The other eight snaps he played were hand-offs to Khalil Herbert and Equanimeous St. Brown. That is a 55-45 pass-to-run ratio. It doesn’t get much more even than that. Fields’ numbers weren’t eye-popping at 4-of-7 for 48 yards, but he didn’t turn the ball over, and two of his incompletions were dropped by Herbert. He operated the offense well.
By contrast, Fields threw six passes to only one run during his first two preseason drives last year. Miller is correct. If Nagy were still in charge, he’d have the young QB trying to sling the football everywhere. Luke Getsy won’t do that. He is helping Fields by adjusting the system to his strengths. More rollouts and bootlegs are getting him on the move. That is coupled with a steady dose of running the football. It won’t work consistently. Not at first. Offenses take time to mesh. Still, they have an identity for the first time in years. The importance of that can’t be understated.
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