Luke Gatsy’s chess match against the Cowboys is the most exciting of his young career | So Good News
Luke Gatsey surprised Bill Belichick with a series of quarterback runs on Monday night, prompting him to say he was coached after perhaps the greatest head coach in NFL history.
So what now?
Will the Bears’ first-year coordinator keep calling Lamar Jackson-inspired running plays for Justin Fields? Will he develop a plan B to exploit the Fields-oriented defense? Or did he have a quarterback, given that Cowboys quarterback Micah Parsons is one of the few athletes in the league who can keep pace with Fields?
Is the quarterback now a permanent part of the Bears’ offense or a strategy used to win one game?
In a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, Gatsey is as good as his next game. His matchup against the Cowboys on Sunday will be the most exciting of his fledgling career.
“That’s every coach’s problem in the league,” Getsy said Thursday. “Finding ways to do well without letting your guys do what’s obvious or predictable.”
The Bears aren’t ruling out an offensive attack that has been in the works since spring.
“I think it’s just staying true to who we are, what we do,” Getsy said. “Guys have a lot going for them [of] we believe conceptually and we must continue to do so.
“That’s how this league is. I think it’s teams that do so much that it’s hard to do well. And teams that are really, really good usually do what they do well, and then they do it a little differently defensively.
This leaves a lot of room for wrinkles. The quarterback run set during a “mini-bye” that was inspired by Jackson’s four touchdown passes and 107 rushing yards in the same Sept. 25 win against the Patriots.
The Bears had Fields carry the ball on counter runs — starting in one direction, then running the other way, behind the quarterback and to the tackle — without giving the ball to the running back.
“When you’re watching a movie. . . and when you see something that just jumps off the screen, you have to take advantage of it,” Getsy said.
Since he did, the Cowboys and other teams on the Bears’ schedule have something to think about.
“Luke was really creative in the running game,” Cole Kmet said. “People who know football and watch film can see the creativity in the running game, which is very exciting. I think we have some creative stuff this week.”
Fields is ready to execute planned runs — “I expect teams will definitely be more prepared for that,” he said — but needs to be able to take the offense in new directions. He needs to be able to make quick and effective throws to punish the Cowboys for spying. Meanwhile, his presence as a running back should help the running backs of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert.
“You hope that along with that creates a few more opportunities in the passing game,” Kmet said. “Like I said, after Monday night’s game, I think we’ll believe it, you know? I think we’ve got three great running backs between Justin, Khalil and David. We’ve got a physical line, they’re tight ends and they’re ready to block.
“I think you build on that and the passing game kind of takes care of itself.”
Getsy will take care of that. With a short week to prepare for the Cowboys, he could cut Fields’ runs in half or try something new.
Asked about the challenge of trying to replicate their offensive success starting Monday, Montgomery smiled.
“I would do it all over again,” he said. “It’s a challenge.”