Bears Rumors: Chicago 'Happy' with Justin Fields' Offseason Development Entering 2022

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 14, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 20: Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks on during a game between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings on December 20, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are reportedly "happy" with the progress second-year quarterback Justin Fields has made during the 2022 NFL offseason.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Tuesday the Bears are also "excited" about the potential for new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy to unlock Fields' full skill set.

"They aren't going to be great, but he's got big-time ability," an NFC coach told Fowler. "He'll be able to make plays."

Fields endured an up-and-down rookie campaign after being selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft.

The 23-year-old Ohio State product completed 58.9 percent of his throws for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions across 12 appearances (10 starts). He added 420 rushing yards and two scores on the ground.

He ranked last among 31st qualified quarterbacks in ESPN's Total QBR (26.4) and received a lackluster 64.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

Fields should benefit from the coaching changes. Getsy, who spent the past two years working alongside Aaron Rodgers as the Green Bay Packers' passing game coordinator, and new head coach Matt Eberflus figure to implement a more up-tempo approach.

Yet the Bears' front office didn't make significant changes to the pass-catching group around their franchise quarterback.

Allen Robinson II, Damiere Byrd and Jakeem Grant Sr. departed, while Byron Pringle was the only notable free-agent addition. Chicago also added Velus Jones Jr. in the third round of the draft.

Whether Darnell Mooney, Pringle, Jones and tight end Cole Kmet represents enough playmaking talent for Fields to take a major leap in his development is up for debate. It could depend on whether Mooney emerges as a true No. 1 target after a breakout 2021 season.

In May, Fields told Bleacher Report's Scott Polacek he's happy with the players around him on the Bears' offense:

"We don't have an Odell [Beckham Jr.] or a Cooper Kupp on our team, but at the end of the day I think if everybody is on their P's and Q's, and we're on top of everything and not making mistakes, the players we have right now are good enough. The front office thinks that, too. The fans outside of the facility, they don't know what's going on at practice. Just because we don't have a big-name guy, doesn't mean those guys aren't talented. I have plenty of confidence in myself and my teammates that we're going to get the job done."

While it's unlikely Chicago will suddenly transform into a Super Bowl contender this season, there's definitely room for growth in an NFC that's wide open beyond the top few teams.

Whether the Bears can take advantage of that opportunity hinges heavily on Fields, whose raw talent provides optimism he can eventually become a Pro Bowl-caliber player.