Thanks to the broken system paraded by Matt Nagy, the Chicago Bears had a bottom five scoring offense during the rookie year of Justin Fields. 

The Bears were bottom 5 in total touchdowns, passing touchdowns, passer rating, and dead last in sacks allowed. Not really the numbers for you hope for after drafting a first round quarterback for the second time in 5 years. Thus, Matt Nagy was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Chicago Bears. 

Now, as poorly as those statistics may reflect on the Bears offense and even Justin Fields, the young Bears quarterback cannot be fully to blame…if at all. 

The skillset shown by Fields in college was dynamic and explosive. He ran a 4.44 in the 40, and was known for his playmaking ability with his legs. And yet, it felt like the Bears refused to roll him out of the pocket and let him throw on the run during his rookie season. 

You often hear coaches say they are “catering the offense to players skillsets” or “allowing players to do what they do best,” but it certainly looked on the field like Matt Nagy had the opposite philosophy. He was always more of a “my way or the highway” type of guy.  

In case you need more convincing, a recent stat via Sports Info Solution (SIS) highlights Nagy’s incompetence: 

I think that settles the “coach or quarterback” debate just fine. 

Fields was not just improved when on the run, he was the best in the NFL on designed rollouts. His size, speed, and arm strength gave him all the tools to succeed when he was in space, even against NFL competition, and rollouts opened the field to allow a playmaker to work. 

Example A: 

Okay, fine…that was more of a busted play than a designed rollout, but you get the point. There may not be any other NFL quarterbacks who can make that play, and there is no ceiling on Justin Fields when he is running with the football. 

Anybody who watches him play can see how special Justin Fields can be, and the recipe for unlocking his potential seems to be a simple one. HC Matt Eberflus and OC Luke Getsy can use Fields’ success on rollouts to open the playbook and move their quarterback around more often. 

According to Bears tight end Cole Kmet, that process has already begun: 

“Justin’s on the move a lot and I think he does well with that. That’s been exciting to see,” Kmet said. “You see the types of throws he can make with his legs and on the run and off-schedule.”

Quotes aside, there’s reason to believe this will all change in 2022. Last season, the Green Bay Packers (with quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy) had 52 drop backs considered to be a designed rollout, via SIS. That was the eighth most in the NFL and nearly three times more than the Bears. Not to mention those came with Aaron Rodgers under center, who is not nearly as mobile or dynamic with his legs as Fields is.

Getsy knows what works, and he has seen first-hand how to have repeated success by utilizing a playmaking quarterback. If the average fan watching at home can realize Fields needs to move more, there’s no question Getsy and Co. will be all over making it happen.

If the Bears coaching staff deploys Justin Fields correctly and move him out of the pocket next season, the sky will be the limit for the Bears offense. Even with a flawed roster around him, Fields will have everything it takes to be a star. 

Image via Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports