One thing you don’t want before facing the Kansas City Chiefs is a distraction. So how about several?
On Tuesday, Justin Fields blamed the offense’s robotic play on offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. By that afternoon, defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned amid a cyclone of rumors regarding alleged criminal activity, as well as raids on his home and Halas Hall had drowned out Fields’ openly blaming his coach for their woeful aerial offense.
Williams’ bizarre departure plunged the Bears in a quicksand up to their nostrils. The insinuations about Williams’ departure eventually forced his own attorney to publicly deny any criminal wrongdoing by the Bears’ former DC, and by early Sunday ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that, “it was not criminal activity,” that forced Williams out, “but it was inappropriate.”
However, the Bears’ human resources department did determine that his actions were classified as inappropriate conduct. According to The Athletic’s Diana Russini, multiple people on the Bears property noticed a forensic vehicle parked outside Halas Hall following Williams’ investigation. However, league sources told Russini that their presence is the standard protocol when a team employee has resigned or been fired as employees works devices are downloaded.
If all that wasn’t enough, the Bears’ crestfallen fans are processing that Fields’ shortcomings as a pro quarterback year might be unfixable. Once thought to be the franchise cornerstone for an organization that’s starved for something as simple as a 4,000-yard passer, they’re coming to terms with reality. Three seasons in, Fields is barely playing low-level starter quality football. He might be closer to Kyler Murray than Lamar Jackson. Rushing for 1,000 yards is a supplement to a potent air attack.
The diagnosis for Fields’ stagnation as a pure passer is up for debate, but one thing is for certain: He’s spending too much time in the pocket. Getsy sticking him in cement from the pocket has cast a shadow over the Bears offense. Under Matt Nagy in 2021, Fields had the NFL’s highest passer rating on designed rollouts. It took a third of the season for Getsy to figure out that he needed to get Fields back on the move. History is repeating itself for Chicago.
Anytime a Black quarterback struggles, the criticism dives off the deep end. Fields’ struggles have sparked the typical dog whistles suggesting he belongs at kick returner, running back or receiver. The world is closing in around the Bears and it’s only Week 2. Things are so bleak that the only hope for Chicago this season is the possibility that they sink far enough to start over with USC’s Caleb Williams.
But given Chicago’s grim history of breaking their quarterbacks, there’s no guarantee that he’d be willing to hop into that burning dumpster fire anyway. Earlier in September, Williams’ father suggested his son could return to school for his senior season rather than get drafted by a putrid offense. For the franchise that passed on Patrick Mahomes for Mitch Trubisky, Williams’ potentially deciding not to play in Chicago would be a cataclysmic development. Chicago has been through a season’s worth of controversy in two weeks and the hits just keep on coming.
After losing their defensive coordinator under bizarre circumstances, they have to prepare for Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Chicago’s dysfunction is Mahomes’ opportunity. Mahomes’ offense has struggled to hit its stride, but they couldn’t have asked for a better situation to get back on track.
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