MOBILE, Ala. -- One of the big offseason storylines will be figuring out what the Chicago Bears will do with the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and how that affects quarterback Justin Fields' future with the team.
But the way it sounds from his offensive coordinator, Fields very much appears to be in the team's plans for 2023 -- and perhaps beyond.
Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is serving as the American Team head coach this week at the 2023 Reese's Senior Bowl. He was asked about Fields' growth during the 2022 season, and Getsy seemed to focus more on wanting to see Fields continue to make strides rather than consider making a change at QB.
"Yeah, no, I have great confidence in Justin," Getsy said. "You saw the growth that he had from a year ago to where he's at now. He still has a long way to go as far as where we want to be, and he knows that.
"But nobody works harder than Justin. The kind of guy he is, the kind of leader that he is, (I am) really excited to see what we can do this coming season, you can see the most growth for 2022."
To some, this might feel like the obvious stance to take. After all, despite the Bears going 3-14 (3-12 in games he started), Fields made major statistical strides in nearly every passing category from his up-and-down rookie season in 2021 to this season when he threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Fields also ran for 1,143 yards -- only the third NFL QB to surpass 1,000 in a season -- and eight touchdowns in 15 games.
But owning the top pick does change things. Bears GM Ryan Poles and the lion's share of the team's scouting department were not part of drafting Fields. Perhaps there's a stronger debate to be had if this draft class featured a rare, generational talent at QB. It arguably does not, although there still could be multiple first-round QBs, with Alabama's Bryce Young, Kentucky's Will Levis, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Florida's Anthony Richardson as possible candidates.
Poles also previously said that he'd have to be "absolutely blown away to make that type of decision."
Getsy added that Fields' leadership was another facet of his game that saw strong growth. "He put the team on his back for a few weeks there and showed that he's able to do it," Getsy said.
When asked what he thought the Bears' offense might look like in 2023 and what their identity might be, he spoke more about the other offensive positions around Fields needing more clarity before he or the Bears could know that answer.
"Yeah, I think that's the biggest question mark," Getsy said. "It's like, who do we have (on offense)? So it always gets kind of put on Justin, like, hey, you evolved to Justin, but we evolved to all 11 (players).
"We've got to figure out who those 11 are gonna be and then figure out how to get each guy the opportunity to be successful in what they're doing. So once we kind of get that in place there in the next couple of months, we've got to take it from there and figure out exactly who we want to be."