Before the season even ended last year, most folks in the sporting world thought the Chicago Bears job would be one of the better jobs available for the upcoming season. Why would it not? Historical franchise, die hard fan base, but more importantly a young QB who showed flashes of what he could do even with a head coach who seemed determined not to play him. Surely Chicago wouldn’t hire a head coach and GM who wouldn’t help him in the ways he needs, would they?
Looking at the offseason and General Manager Ryan Poles introductory press conference it seems like Bears fans are in for something new. Poles is quoted as saying “We’re going to build through the draft.” But the Bears stayed somewhat aggressive in free agency. The Bears signed 16 free agents with a total of 5 of those being pass catching options for him to throw too. May 12th the Bears signed two more pass catchers being Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe. In the draft they helped him by drafting Velus Jones Jr as well. GM Ryan Poles has long said that he didn’t like the all around roster of the Chicago Bears. So he couldn’t go out and spend a crazy amount on receivers.
Before we dive into the question “has Chicago done enough?” We need to identify what help is, especially in Fields’ case. Justin Fields is young at the age of 23. He’s on his second Offensive Coordinator in Luke Getsy and his second Head Coach in Matt Eberflus. This part often gets overlooked while in the “help” department. In an interview with Larry Mayer, OC Luke Getsy said “You bring a play-style mentality philosophy to the table and then evaluate what the player does best. How I’ve been brought up in this business is you build it around the quarterback first, and then you tailor everything else to match what everybody else does well. That process is just ingrained in my soul. We’re not going to just run this concept because I like it or it looks great on film. If the player can’t execute that, then we’re not going to have much success.” This quote right here has me believing that the team has communicated well with Justin and Fields himself has said they’ve been in constant contact with everyone.
The next thing we need to look at is the offensive line as well. Chicago has drafted 4 offensive linemen to go alongside the two they drafted last year. Chicago has also signed 3 offensive linemen who have experience in the league. An improved offensive line could do miracles for this team as well as signing wide receivers and tight ends.
Lastly an overlooked fact is the system, and building chemistry with the team. Last season Fields wasn’t getting any first team reps up to when he started, and then he had a terrible system that every QB on the team complained about. Including Trubisky and Foles.
Obviously Bears fans and the front office alike want Fields to be successful. But we truly do live in a ring chaser world. Playing for a Super Bowl contender is everyone’s top priority, so if a team that many classify is going through a rebuild offers you a contract you may not accept it. There’s no telling who Chicago reached out to or who they wanted. Winning is important but so is patiences. Next year Chicago is projected to have roughly 128.5 million dollars in cap space for free agency and resigning players.
Has Chicago done enough to help Fields? Name base wise and big signings wise, no. But give it time, Bears fans. We gave Pace 7 years, give Poles a few seasons before you assume he’s tanking or not giving Fields a chance. Like Poles had said in multiple interviews, he has to build a team, and a team is more than just receivers and offensive linemen.