Matt Eberflus hasn’t even met with Chicago reporters yet, but his biggest question has been answered.
In his first big move since becoming the Bears’ new head coach Thursday, Eberflus managed to steal Packers quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Luke Getsy from Green Bay. While not official yet, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Getsy was leaving the Packers to become the Bears' offensive coordinator. That immediately makes Getsy most important figure for quarterback Justin Fields as he enters his second season in the NFL.
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The Packers assistant has a relationship with Eberflus, one that is apparently strong enough that the new head coach feels comfortable placing the development of Justin Fields into Getsy’s hands.
Getsy has spent his entire NFL career with the Packers, with college stops sprinkled in too. He was the Packers’ wide receivers coach from 2016-17 under Mike McCarthy before becoming Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator in 2018. When Matt LaFleur took the Packers head coaching job in 2019, he brought Getsy back to Green Bay to be the QB coach because he had a relationship with Rodgers. Remember, the LaFleur-Rodgers relationship wasn’t all roses at the start, and Getsy helped it all come together with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was also new on the staff. By 2020, Getsy earned an additional title of passing game coordinator, and my understanding is that he had a bigger role in the Packers’ passing schemes than he gets credit for.
Still only 37, Getsy is getting a lot of attention in the NFL coaching world. He even interviewed with the Denver Broncos for their head coaching vacancy this year. Plus, why not weaken your top rival while making a big coaching hire?
Why would Getsy leave Green Bay?
With Hackett taking the Broncos’ head coaching job, Getsy appeared to be the obvious choice to take over as the offensive coordinator in Green Bay. But LaFleur calls plays for the Packers and still oversees the offense, so it’s not an OC job that comes with full autonomy.
Eberflus could offer Getsy that in Chicago. The OC will call the plays and have control over an offense that will be built around Justin Fields. The quarterback’s presence on the roster is also a big attraction for the coordinator. Perhaps the uncertainty with Rodgers’ future weakened the attraction of staying in Green Bay without play calling duties. Given his strong relationship with Rodgers, this move certainly has to raise some eyebrows in Wisconsin.
What will the scheme look like?
This is a fascinating question. Coaching under LaFleur technically puts Getsy on a branch of the Shanahan coaching tree, but with Rodgers and Davante Adams in Green Bay, the Packers have been able to scheme around those two spectacular players. Still, the Packers have run the ball much more effectively since LaFleur arrived in Green Bay, and during Getsy’s one year as the OC at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs averaged 223.6 rushing yards/game and 5.66 yards/carry. At Mississippi State, he coached under Joe Moorhead, who was his OC at Akron when he was the quarterback there. Moorhead is known for attacking downfield, which of course, the Packers do quite effectively.
This all tells me that Getsy will bring strong rushing and play-action elements from Green Bay, but ultimately tailor a new offense around Justin Fields’ talents and attack downfield. RPOs have been a major part of the Packers' offense in recent years so I would expect plenty of those too. This isn't a situation where we know exactly what type of system will be implemented. That's both exciting and scary.
What are the concerns?
Getsy does not have NFL play calling experience and developing a young quarterback is much different than working with Aaron Rodgers. Then again, Getsy has been working with Jordan Love behind the scenes the last two years.
Still, the Bears pairing a first-time GM with a first-time head coach and a first-time play caller sure seems risky.
What if Getsy gets a head coaching job in a year?
Then that likely means Fields had a breakout second season. The Bears would take that. Yes, this is the potential downside of hiring a defensive-minded head coach, but it’s a downside that means the Bears’ offense is finally in a much better place.
Overall, this seems like a bold hire that should have Bears fans excited, especially because it’s another sign that the Packers might be in for enormous change up north.