The five biggest needs for the Chicago Bears in 2024

The Bears have played better in the second half of the season, but what can take them to the next level in 2024?
The Bears have played better in the second half of the season, but what can take them to the next level in 2024? / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The NFL regular season is almost complete, and barring about a dozen miracles happening all at once, the Chicago Bears will not be playing once Week 18 concludes. The team made great strides in a number of areas this year, guaranteeing at least double its wins from a year ago, but there is much more work to be done to continue that improvement in 2024.

Thanks to the trade with the Carolina Panthers that is almost sure to yield the #1 pick in the draft, Bears general manager Ryan Poles is flush with options to continue stocking the roster with talent. His decision, though, will be a difficult one.

The obvious move is to draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the top pick. The former Heisman Trophy winner has dazzled during his time in college, displaying a Patrick Mahomes-like propensity for making eye-popping plays. No prospect is a sure thing, though, and Williams did struggle against the best defenses he faced this year. Still, as of now he is thought to be the #1 quarterback in an especially strong draft class, and Justin Fields hasn't done enough to force the Bears to commit to him wholeheartedly.

Fields has grown since being drafted by the Bears three years ago, but it wouldn't be accurate to call him a top-10 quarterback in the league. Could he get there? That's the million dollar question, and I'm not envious of Poles for having to make that call. More than any other decision, this is the one that will determine if his tenure as Bears GM is deemed a success or failure.

Nobody would blame Poles if he decides to start fresh at the most important position in sports, especially with a prospect of Williams' upside available. Getting the right quarterback takes precedence over everything, and if Poles believes Williams is a generational prospect, that's probably the direction he'll go. Looking at the Bears' roster shows that there are greater areas of need than quarterback, though, especially if you believe that Justin Fields will continue improving. Here are the five positions that the Bears must upgrade in 2024.

1) Offensive coordinator

If there's one thing that Bears fans can agree on, it's that Luke Getsy needs to go. Even those critical of Justin Fields admit that he's been held back by the playcalling ineptitude of the Bears' second-year offensive coordinator.

The Bears have come out hot in the first quarter, where much of the offensive gameplan is scripted, many times this year. After that, though, Getsy's lack of feel for the game has been the dominant refrain. The Bears have blown double-digit leads in the second half three times, and in each of those losses, Getsy took the ball out of Justin Fields' hands and went super conservative, hoping to just run the clock and hang on for dear life.

Getsy has been too predictable. Against the Bucs in Week 2, Tampa bay linebacker LaVonte David said after the game, "Everybody knew what was coming" on the game-sealing interception by teammate Shaq Barrett. The Bears have often been in third and long after calling an inside run on 2nd and 10, and the predictability of going run-run-pass hasn't given Justin Fields enough chances to make big plays when the defense isn't expecting them.

Getsy has shown a particular predilection for screen passes, despite the Bears not deriving much success from them. I blame D.J. Moore's first touch as a Bear in the preseason, when he took a screen pass 62 yards to the house, for Getsy thinking screens were a foolproof play. He's experienced diminished returns all season on them, though, and it's to the point where it's an inside joke amongst Bears fans whenever they run another screen pass.

Fields isn't yet the All-Pro quarterback that Bears fans want him to be, but he has undoubtedly improved year over year. The same can't be said for Getsy.