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Chicago Bears: 5 Storylines to Watch During Training Camp

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

All eyes will be on second-year quarterback Justin Fields as the Bears begin their first training camp under new head coach Matt Eberflus.

The Chicago Bears underwent wholesale changes at the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season. The team has a new general manager, a new head coach, and numerous changes to the roster. The Bears' outlook is uncertain at best as it enters its first training camp of this new era. This team will be slowly evaluated as camp moves into preseason games. With that being said, here are five things to keep an eye on as the Bears prepare for the upcoming season.

1. The development of Justin Fields

Aside from improved offensive line play (more on that later) and cohesiveness amongst the new group of receivers, this will be the most important aspect of improving this offense. Not that Fields did anything wrong during his rookie season, but he'll need to take the next step in Year 2. Last year's 11th overall draft pick completed 58.9 percent of his pass attempts for 1,870 yards and seven touchdowns. But he also threw 10 interceptions and took 36 sacks. 

Some of those were a result of bad decision-making, others were the issues with the offensive line and him simply adjusting to the nuances of the NFL game. And while improving the other 10 positions around him will go a long way, Fields must also clean up his own mechanics if he wants future success. Especially since he'll be learning his third offense in three seasons dating back to college.

Related: 5 Positions to Watch During the Chicago Bears' Training Camp

2. The implementation of Luke Getsy's offense

The former Akron quarterback comes to the Bears after spending the last two seasons as the Green Bay Packers' passing game coordinator. That passing attack ranked seventh (253.8 ypg) last year and ninth (256.6 ypg) in 2020. The Bears haven't had a top 10 passing offense since 2013 (267.6 ypg that year). The hope is that Getsy's playbook will not only make the Bears a downfield threat again, but also boost a run game that's only finished in the top 15 once since 2018 (last season).  

The talent is undoubtedly there to make that happen. But whether or not that goal becomes a reality will depend on how Getsy tailors his playbook to fit the skillsets of the players on the roster, the development and growth of Fields, and the improvement of the guys in the trenches.

3. Improvement by the offensive line

Including the 36 times Fields was taken down by the opposing pass rush, this group last year surrendered a total of 58 sacks in '21. Fields, Andy Dalton, and Nick Foles (the latter two are now gone) ran for their lives on many plays last season because the O-line failed to contain the initial pass rush. And because of the subpar play, many linemen from last year's team are no longer on the roster. The hope is that the changes for this bunch during the offseason will help in this endeavor, and if that's the case, it will help turn this offense in the right direction.