Before Luke Getsy determines how to best utilize the talents of quarterback Justin Fields and his teammates, the new Bears offensive coordinator intends to get to know them as players and people.
"This is going to take time," Getsy told reporters Thursday via Zoom. "We're going to have to get to know each other, and through that process the focus will be dialing into what [Fields] does best and then matching that with the other 10 guys on the field and what they do best."
As Getsy assumes control of a Bears offense that ranked 27th in the NFL in scoring and 24th in total yards in 2021, his first objective will be to establish a culture and philosophy.
"Once we get everybody in that mindset, then we can grow and build exactly who we want to be," Getsy said. "We'll create that identity as we go through this offseason. We've got to establish that culture. We've got to establish that philosophy and make sure that we're all on the same page moving forward. And then once we dial into the specific people, the personnel, then we'll dial into exactly what we want to be good at."
Like new Bears coach Matt Eberflus, Getsy believes in constructing a system that puts players in position to succeed by accentuating their strengths.
It's a lesson he's learned throughout a 15-year coaching career that includes seven seasons in the NFL, all with the Packers.
"If you look at previous experiences that I've had, you would see that offenses change and evolve as you go through different years," said Getsy, who served as Green Bay's quarterbacks coach the past three seasons and the team's passing game coordinator in 2020-21. "It's not like you run the same football plays every single year or from even one game to the next. You're going to evolve. If you have this set of players playing in this game and the next game those players are injured, you can't do the same thing. It's all about tapping into what those specific position groups do best."
While all players and teams are different, Getsy believes that the success of every offense is dependent on the quarterback, simply because he touches the ball and makes critical decisions on every play.
"It starts with the quarterback," Getsy said. "This is a quarterback-driven offense. The things the quarterback position does well, that's going to be the driver of who we are. And then we're going to marry that to what the other guys on the football field do well. That's the purpose of the offensive coordinator, right? To dive into what the people do well, what they do best, and then build the offense around that."
In Fields, Getsy inherits a promising second-year pro who had an up-and-down rookie season in 2021. Selected by the Bears with the 11th pick in the first round of last year's draft, Fields showed some of his tantalizing dual-threat ability but also committed rookie mistakes he needs to eliminate.
Asked about his impressions of Fields, Getsy spoke about interviewing the former Ohio State star during last year's NFL Combine, saying that he was "super impressed with the man, the person."
"You can feel the determination, the will inside of him," Getsy said. "As he was communicating to me, he was super sharp with what they did at Ohio State. And then just the brief conversation that we were able to have together here the other day, the same exact thing jumped back out at me again.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know him deeper. But I'm very optimistic about the type of person that he is and the will and the desire that he wants to be a great leader, too. It's a really cool opportunity with a young guy who I think has a really good drive."
Getting to know his players on a personal level is a top priority for Getsy.
"Throughout my entire coaching journey, the importance of the relationship with your player has just been more evident," he said. "The importance of it is so critical to the football team.
"You have to dive into that relationship if you want to have any kind of success. It's about getting to know the person. What drives them, their style of learning, all that stuff is going to be critical that we dive into once we get together."
Getsy is excited about the opportunity to call plays for the first time in the NFL. He's previously served as an offensive coordinator in college at West Virginia Wesleyan (2009), Indiana of Pennsylvania (2011-12) and Mississippi State (2018). As a player, he set 24 school records in two seasons as a starting quarterback at Akron.
"The passion that I have for this game and the passion to take the reins, it's deep inside me," Getsy said. "I think playing the quarterback position growing up, being the leader of the offense, playing it through college and then getting a couple opportunities at the college level to take the reins of the offense and be the play-caller, all of that stuff is just in me. It's what I love."
While excited about the opportunity, Getsy insists that the Bears offense won't be his creation, but instead will be formulated with input from his assistant coaches.
"This is going to be a collective group doing this together, that we're going to build something that's going to be our own," Getsy said. "I laid it out for these guys on this offensive staff that this is the mindset that we want to have. We want this thing to be ours. This isn't going to be somebody else's or a copycat of somebody else's. This is going to be ours. We all have our experiences and we're going to put them together, and we're going to build this thing together."