Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy spoke to the media Sunday during rookie minicamp. Here are five things we learned during that session:
(1) Getsy was impressed with the maturity and professionalism he saw from third-round pick Velus Jones Jr., a receiver from Tennessee.
"He's all business," Getsy said. "He came in in a suit. He was ready to go. He takes great notes. Bought his own white board. He came in ready. He was focused. So I'm excited. He's somebody that's going to be all-in, focused on trying to figure everything out. It's a lot for all of those guys right now, but I loved the way he came in, his approach."
Jones spent four seasons at USC from 2016-19. He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in December 2019 and then transferred to Tennessee, where he played two seasons as a graduate student. The 6-foot, 204-pounder blossomed in 2021, more than doubling his career totals with 62 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also named the SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year after averaging 27.3 yards with one TD on 23 kickoff returns and 15.1 yards on 18 punt returns.
Jones combines speed and power; he ran a blazing 4.31 in the 40 at the Combine and he's built more like a running back than a receiver.
"He's a physically mature dude," Getsy said. "I mean, he can handle this league, you can see that already. Then the speed just jumped at you on tape. When that guy gets the ball in his hands, he looks like 4.3 on the field. Not many guys can do that, and I think that is what stood out about this guy. He has a chance to score every time he touches the ball."
(2) Echoing what GM Ryan Poles said during two radio interviews Friday, Getsy lauded quarterback Justin Fields for his work ethic.
"I've been super impressed with him, I really have," Getsy said. "There's no one in the building that works harder than him. There's no one that cares more than him. We're off to a great start. He's really accepted this challenge. We're asking a lot of him to learn a lot of new things. He's been a pleasure to work with."
Getsy, who spent five of the last six seasons as an offensive assistant with the Packers, feels that his bond with Fields continues to strengthen.
"That's extremely important," Getsy said. "I was raised on that, that the play-caller and the quarterback have to have a great relationship. We have to be on the same page, always. That's where I felt like he's grown, is he's communicating with me so well now, things that he's feeling, things that he sees. So, that part of it has just been tremendous, for a young guy to be able to do that. These three or four months that we've been together, it's been a lot of fun."
(3) Getsy is excited to begin evaluating the offensive linemen in earnest when they put pads on for the first time in training camp.
The Bears bolstered the position in free agency by signing center Lucas Patrick, guard Dakota Dozier and tackle Julién Davenport, and by spending four Day 3 draft picks on offensive linemen in tackle Braxton Jones in the fifth round, tackle Zachary Thomas and center Doug Kramer in the sixth round and guard Ja'Tyre Carter in the seventh round.
"It should be extremely competitive," Getsy said. "That's at every position. That's what we're in here doing every single day, is giving guys an opportunity to compete. There's no jobs that are locked up right now.
"When you get the pads on, that's when real ball starts. Everything will be evaluated about that: the way they get off the football, the way they execute, their mentality, their finish; all that stuff is going to get evaluated. I'm excited to see that. Still got a ways to go. We've got another phase that we have to take to be able to be prepared for that opportunity. So got another month or so to give these guys some more work and some information.
"As far as their mindset, their approach every single day, I'm excited about them," Getsy said. "I think they both have a really good chance this year to show what they're made of. We're trying to set a mentality up front and I think both those guys are good leaders for that."
(4) Getsy's expectations are high for receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, a free-agent acquisition that Getsy worked with in Green Bay.
Since being selected by the Packers in the sixth round of the 2018 draft out of Notre Dame, St. Brown has played in 37 games with 10 starts over three seasons—missing the entire 2019 campaign with an ankle injury—and caught 37 passes for 543 yards and one touchdown.
Last year St. Brown appeared in 13 games with two starts, registering nine receptions for 98 yards.
"I thought 'EQ' had a tremendous year last year in his growth and his maturity from where he was to where he is now," Getsy said. "I was really excited that we were able to snag him up because I think all his best football is ahead of him. He's one of those guys, you talk about a big body, a guy that can run, his toughness and all that stuff and everything that we're going to preach in this system, he's that expectation, he's that leader of that mindset."
(5) Getsy has been impressed with tight end Cole Kmet's versatility.
Since being selected in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Notre Dame, Kmet has played in all 33 games with 26 starts over two seasons, catching 88 passes for 855 yards and two TDs. He is also used extensively as a blocker.
"The flexibility as a player, I think he has all that stuff," Getsy said. "I'm excited to see him have a bunch of different roles in our offense. Some players that are out there, they're kind of like, 'This is what they do well.'
"But I think the more guys that you can get in a system that can do a bunch of different things, the more success you're going to have, and I think Cole is one of those guys."
69 players, including the Bears' 2022 draft class, were on the fields at Halas Hall this weekend for three days of rookie minicamp practices.