New Bears coach Matt Eberflus expects a significant Year 2 leap from dynamic quarterback Justin Fields.
"The development of him for the second year should be a big jump," Eberflus said Tuesday, via NBC Sports Chicago. "It should be. That's what we're looking for."
During his rookie campaign, Fields flashed glimpses of playmaking ability that provide optimism he can be the decades-long answer to the quarterback conundrum in Chicago. But there were also significant struggles.
The previous coaching staff rarely tailored their game plans to fit what Fields did well, and the team lacked sufficient support to allow the rookie to shine.
While the Bears' new brass, led by GM Ryan Poles, have attempted to buffer the quarterback, the upgrades have been minimal. Chicago signed receiver Byron Pringle and center Lucas Patrick. It had an offer sheet to potential starting O-lineman Ryan Bates matched by Buffalo, which was a big blow to planned blocking upgrades.
With little cap space, there haven't been splash moves to upgrade the offense around Fields -- certainly not in the same way Jacksonville was able to overspend to help fellow draft classmate Trevor Lawrence.
Without significant upgrades in talent, the Bears are counting on Fields' improvement in Year 2 to come from personal strides in how he processes the game.
"We're looking for better technique, better fundamentals, better decision-making, better timing, everything," Eberflus said. "He's all on-board on that. He's excited about where he is, and he's been working his tail off. That's what we want, just that big jump from Year 1 to Year 2."
If Fields is able to process reads quicker in 2022 than he did as a rookie, that will immediately improve the Bears' offense and put him on a path to a Year 2 leap.