Even though it’s clear the Chicago Bears‘ primary focus has been on the defensive side of the ball, it’s fair to argue the franchise will only go as far as Justin Fields takes them in 2022.

The jury is still out on what that ends up looking like, too. Fields showed plenty of promise in Year 1, but there were too many other circumstances -including his own play- that created doubt about his NFL abilities, as well.

Arguably the most heinous of circumstances was the Bears offensive line. Chicago’s mish-mashed front five gave up the most sacks (58) and the highest adjusted sack rate (9.5%) in 2021.

Heading into 2022, it doesn’t look much better. Especially after the Bears lost their best offensive lineman in six-time All-Pro Jason Peters.

Peters recently spoke on Fields, the Bears, and the offensive line. And, he was extremely clear about what needs to happen in order for Fields to become the franchise quarterback the Bears envision.

“He’s going to need his offensive line to block for him and give him some time, because he’s young, to go through his reads,” Peters recently said during an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Because right now, he’s going to be like a rookie again, with a new system, pretty much…. As long as the offensive line gives him some time, he’ll do OK.

“Once they [the Bears] get that offensive line set, that guy’s going to be special. [Because] he can throw, he can run, he can make all the plays he needs to make.”

Luke Getsy’s offense will play a big role in the success or failure of the Bears offensive line

No team is perfect in the NFL.

What makes great teams great is a good coaching staff and good systems/infrastructure. The Bears are hoping they have found their guys in Luke Getsy and Alan Williams – two coaches who have learned from some of the best over their careers.

Getsy’s system, which will be familiar to offense we’ve seen in Green Bay over the years, is an offensive line-friendly system. Getsy’s outside zone will take advantage of the offensive line’s athleticism and his simplistic-yet-not-dumbed-down play designs won’t ask them to overcompensate in certain areas.

But, now, don’t get it twisted: The Bears may have the scheme (supposedly), but it largely remains to be seen if the players are up to the challenge. Cody Whitehair has a Pro Bowl on his resume, but even he has been inconsistent, lately.

And after Whitehair, it’s nothing but questions surrounding the other players.

Regardless, Peters is right. Fields’ potential will be maximized once the offensive line is fixed. And that’s not a knock on Fields. That’s any quarterback in the NFL. If the front five aren’t doing the job, it’s very likely the offense, as a whole, will suck.

So, it’s just a matter of when -or if- the Bears can get the offensive line on track. And, honestly, it needs to be much sooner than later, because Fields can’t get hit on one of nearly every 10 dropbacks like Bears quarterbacks were last year.

Featured image via Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports