The Bears had the No. 1 overall pick and could have used it to draft a quarterback. But they’ve seen enough of Justin Fields, the No. 11 overall choice in 2021, to think they have their franchise quarterback.
The Bears used the extra picks obtained from the Panthers in the trade of the top pick to continue to build around Fields.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy expects Fields to take another step this season.
“Where he was at this time last year to where he is now, I think he’s just light years ahead of where he was,” Getsy said Saturday, via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. “And I feel like he has a ton more to grow going forward. So we’re excited to try to get the best out of him moving forward and keep working toward where we think he can go.”
Fields, 23, rushed for a team-leading 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns, but he led the league with 16 fumbles, threw 11 interceptions and averaged 149.5 yards passing per game. The Bears went 3-14.
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus has seen improvement already this offseason.
“Part of that [needed improvement] is rhythm and timing. That’s the footwork with Justin,” Eberflus said. “He’s been working on that really, really good in terms of the quick pass, dropback pass, movement pass, and he’s really made some big strides in that area coming in so far — on his own and now coming into the phase two [of the offseason program], that first week.”
Fields will have more to work with after the Bears added tight end Robert Tonyan in free agency, drafted receiver Tyler Scott and acquired receiver D.J. Moore in the trade with Carolina for the top pick.