Over the past few days, as it’s seemingly become more and more likely that Tyson Bagent will lead the Bears offense against the Raiders, we’ve heard a lot about why the team is confident that the undrafted free agent rookie quarterback. They love his work ethic. They love his dedication to being completely prepared for any challenge. They love what he brings to the locker room as a teammate. All good, but all off the field traits.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy started to get into the things they see from Bagent on the field that gives him confidence Bagent can get the job done.
“I think he’s a fluid athlete,” said Getsy. “I think the processing part of it, he’s played a lot of ball in college, threw the ball all over the yard, so he’s an obvious passer of the football.”
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The Bears have also described Fields as a good passer, pointing to his success throwing the ball back at Ohio State. They’ve been effusive about his deep ball for a long time. So any descriptions of Bagent as an “obvious passer” shouldn’t be read as a slight towards Fields.
Fields’ athleticism is second-to-none, however, so the Bears have things in their offense to take advantage of that athleticism, like designed runs and RPOs. Could there be additional concepts to play to Fields’ strengths, like moving pockets and vertical shots? Yes. But now, Bears coaches are charged with designing an offense around Bagent’s strengths.
“Certainly some of it will look different,” said head coach Matt Eberflus. “It’ll look different for sure just because you’ve always gotta play to the strength of who’s got the ball in their hands at quarterback. We’re going to do that for sure.”
We won’t know exactly what that looks like until the Bears take the field, but an educated guess might say the Bears could dial up more quick throws to get the ball out of Bagent’s hands. If the Bears really like his ability to process the field, then there could be an uptick in timing throws that are predicated on going through progressions precisely. We might see fewer designed runs, if any at all.
Bagent said he told coaches that he was comfortable with the entire call sheet when he came in to finish last week’s game. He didn’t want them to hold any plays back. This week he’s equally confident that he can master a full call sheet, no matter what the team installs. The key to his confidence goes back to his dedication to preparation.
“I'm not usually that comfortable until I know the whole game plan so I kind of put that burden on myself throughout the week,” Bagent said.
That confidence in turn spreads to the rest of the offense.
“The way he commands things, the checks he makes sometimes are just like, ‘Oh, he made that check,’” said wide receiver Tyler Scott. “Some things that necessarily weren’t initially in the game plan but just kind of things that was all playing football. I think he just has that ‘it’ about him.
“We had a scenario this past week where something was called and we made an adjustment on the fly… He just kind of made an adjustment leaving the huddle. He said, ‘Hey, they’ve been bailing.’ He seen something with the defense, he was like, ‘Hey, they’ve been doing this, snap it down at the top and I’ll hit it to you.’ And that’s when we converted that huge third down giving us a chance to win. I think he makes those kinds of football plays and just kind of sees the game and just kind of plays free.”