LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- On the last play of practice Monday morning at Halas Hall, Bears quarterback Justin Fields stepped past the line of scrimmage illegally before misfiring on a Hail Mary attempt. On Tuesday, the starting offense failed to even reach the range needed for a heave to the end zone.
Then came Wednesday morning, when Fields capped a 10-play drive against the Bears’ starting defense with a strike to receiver Darnell Mooney for a touchdown. It was the highlight of a positive day for Fields and Chicago’s starting offense, which has struggled during the first week of training camp.
The Bears have had just one week of practice and their first regular-season game is still more than a month away, but it’s still a challenge to balance patience with urgency as they implement a new system under new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
“It’s tough because you want to know everything right now, you want to be successful at everything right now,” Fields said. “It’s really just knowing that there are going to be mistakes, knowing that you’re to have to learn and making sure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.”
In the early stages of NFL training camps, defenses are usually ahead of offenses. That’s especially true as Getsy continues to implement his scheme. The 23-year-old Fields is working through his first training camp as an entrenched starting quarterback while lining up behind a constantly shuffled offensive line and targeting a new group of wide receivers.
Meanwhile, the Bears’ defense looks plenty comfortable in new coach Matt Eberflus’ scheme and has been flying to the football early on in camp. Given that Chicago ranked 27th in the NFL in scoring in 2021 – and struggled considerably on that side of the ball during former coach Matt Nagy’s four-year tenure – plenty of skepticism continues to surround the Bears' offense.
“There’s probably a lot of overreacting to practice reps,” Bears backup quarterback Trevor Siemian said.
Players understand they can't get caught up in the perceptions of what’s happening in training camp. They’re held accountable through film study each day, when the coaches pick apart each play and seek better performance. Eberflus, Getsy and the new Bears staff have been critical in meetings while seeking improvements.
As the Bears build their offense, they remain confident in their work.
“It’s new,” running back David Montgomery said. “Everything is new, but we're all learning according to plan and everyone is getting better.”
That's what’s expected at this point in training camp. The goal is simply to keep improving.
Fields and the Bears know they need to handle the successes and failures as best they can while recognizing the process at hand.
“I mean, it's going to come,” Fields said. “My competitive nature, I think everybody on the offensive side of the ball's competitive nature, you're going to want to be successful every day. You want to have a successful play every play. But you also got to know when to take your wins and losses.”
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.