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5 things we learned from Bears coordinators

Bears coordinators Luke Getsy, Alan Williams and Richard Hightower
Bears coordinators Luke Getsy, Alan Williams and Richard Hightower

Bears coordinators Luke Getsy (offense), Alan Williams (defense) and Richard Hightower (special teams) spoke to the media Thursday in advance of Sunday's Week 2 matchup with the Packers. Here's what we learned:

(1) Williams is not underestimating the Packers or Aaron Rodgers despite their Week 1 loss to Minnesota.

"We try to tell the guys, 'Don't drink the Kool Aid of what the media is trying to sell that there's gloom and doom in Green Bay. Don't fall into that trap,'" Williams said. "So that is the first message, and then the quarterback, don't underestimate the power of great leadership. He is a great leader, and he will get those guys into shape.

"What we're trying to do is to block out everything else and focus in on the task at hand, which is improving each week, follow the process, stay the course, keep worrying about, 'Hey, this is the next football game, not necessarily the Super Bowl or anything like that.' We need to take care of ourselves and our business and what we need to do than more so who they are and what they're doing."

Williams doesn't expect anything but the best out of Green Bay and Rodgers. The coordinator called Rodgers "one of the best in history."

With a player as experienced as Rodgers, Williams said they won't be able to fool him, and it will take a complete game from the defense to beat him.

"With a guy like him, it's tough to get to him with four guys," Williams said. "So you have to bring pressure and you fill up the holes so that he can't escape — remember I said that he was the greatest B-gap escape guy, so you have to bring pressure. You have to get guys on him. You have to try to make him uncomfortable and bring more than four to get home."

The Bears hit the Halas Hall practice fields Wednesday afternoon as they get ready for Sunday night's matchup with the rival Packers in Green Bay.

(2) Williams was happy with rookies Dominique Robinson, Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, but the coach is seeking consistency.

"Last week was one football game," Williams said. "We have a lot more to go. It's a marathon, not a sprint. So, it just gives them the confidence, 'Hey, this is the NFL, I do belong.' Then the challenge is going to be, 'Do I belong week after week after week after week after week after week?'"

One of the rookies that impressed in Sunday's season opener was Robinson, who recorded 1.5 sacks against the 49ers.

While Robinson's impact was a surprise to some, Williams said the team expected that level of play from the defensive end.

"We thought that Dominique was a pretty good player, and we were just waiting for the actual real ballgame rather than preseason to see how he was going to function and he did well," Williams said. "What we were looking for was just – I know you guys may get tired of it – the HITS principle. Did he hustle? Was he No. 1 in the world in running to the football? When he hit, did he knock guys backward? Did he get lined up? Didn't necessarily take the football away but he almost did, and did he play smart football? We're just really focused on that and not necessarily one specific part – run/pass."

(3) Getsy was impressed with quarterback Justin Fields' attitude in the season opener.

After a scoreless first half for the Bears on Sunday – with Fields completing just three of nine passes for 19 yards – Getsy walked into the locker room with a smile on his face.

Getsy noted the importance of exuding positive energy and staying consistent with his players, even at the low moments. While Fields complimented Getsy's approach at halftime, the coordinator was just as pleased with his quarterback's consistent mindset.

"I was really impressed by how he handled every situation like the way we were able to talk about what happened on the field when you're backed up, and then he throws an interception, Getsy said. "That whole time that dude was stone cold, he was ready to go. There was no 'woe is me' at all, and that's what's been so cool about it and that makes it easier, too."

Aside from Fields' ability to get the offense flowing in the second half, Getsy was most impressed with the quarterback's communication. Getsy, who spent seven seasons in Green Bay, learned how the importance those in-game conversations from working with Rodgers.

"You talk about Aaron, I was just saying to somebody else, one of the coolest things you get to do when you coach Aaron is you get to hear him say exactly what happened on every play," Getsy said. "The detail is just unbelievable. It's impeccable and Justin had a lot of those cool conversations with us in the game, so that was really fun to be a part of that. So just want to keep getting him to grow, and we'll keep getting better every day. And he's a young dude, and I have to remember that too. I have to have patience with it too."

(4) Getsy is prepping for his return to Green Bay.

"Familiarity with the personnel is probably the advantage," Getsy said. "That's it. I mean those guys are really good. [Defensive coordinator] Joe Barry's a stud. Those guys are all good up there. They got good players, good scheme. So, it's a challenge; it's a fun challenge. It'll be cool to go compete against your friends. It's gonna be fun."

Much like Williams, Getsy isn't reading into the Packers' Week 1 loss to the Vikings. The coordinator remembers the start of the 2014 season, his first year with Green Bay, where the Packers lost the season opener to Seattle by 20 points before eventually advancing to the NFC Championship game.

"In the NFL, every week is a new chapter. It wasn't even like a thing," Getsy said. "Maybe I should've brought that up, but we're focused on ourselves. We're focused on getting better. We honestly have not even brought that up in our room, offensively. We know we've got an elite defense sitting right in front of us that we gotta go to battle with."

(5) Hightower remains confident in kicker Cairo Santos.

When Santos missed a second extra point attempt in Sunday's game, Hightower didn't blink. The only thing that went through Hightower's mind was, "things happen."

The weather conditions were less than ideal for the kicking unit. Hightower said the heavy downpour leads to a heavier ball, affecting the snap, the hold and the kick. While the coordinator won't use weather as an excuse, Sunday's outing doesn't change the level of trust he has in Santos.

"I mean I got all the confidence in the world in Cairo and everybody here does and he had a really great day [Wednesday]," Hightower said. "Looking forward to seeing him kick again. I know he's fired up about it."

Hightower's confidence in his kicker is warranted. Santos missed just one extra point in each of the previous two seasons with the Bears. He has also made 90.2 percent of his field goal attempts since the 2020 season.

Santos, who has been in the league since 2014, is also a leader in the special teams room.

"I think we have a really reliable guy that has been reliable throughout his career," Hightower said. "I think we have a smart player; I think we have a professional that really cares. We have a stand-up guy that takes his profession and everything that he does, extremely seriously. I think we are fortunate to have him and he does a great job studying the opponent, returners, himself, and the other kickers and helping in the meetings."

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