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Former NFL QB Matt Ryan says Bears should play to Justin Fields' strengths

Former NFL QB Matt Ryan says Bears should play to Justin Fields' strengths
Former NFL QB Matt Ryan says Bears should play to Justin Fields' strengths 02:52

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Bears will look to bounce back on Sunday at home against the Denver Broncos.

Like the Bears, Denver is also searching for its first win this season.

Despite their 0-3 start, Justin Fields and the Bears are close, according to head coach Matt Eberflus. Former NFL quarterback Matt Ryan will be on the call for Sunday's game against the Broncos on CBS.

CBS 2 Sports Director Marshall Harris asked Ryan just how close the Bears are to breaking through for a win.

Ryan: "I think there's a bit of a figuring out process that goes on in the first month of the season and, to me, I watch them, and the reasons you're not far off is they haven't really gotten after the passer. I think it's one sack on the year, really at this point. Going into this game, it's a team that's given up lots of hits in terms of the Denver Broncos. They have not been great up front. They haven't been great in terms of pass protection, so if there's a week to get that part of your game right, I think this is a good week for [the Bears defense]. And then on the offensive side of the ball for Chicago, I really think you got to get back to the basics, and you got to take a look at what Justin Fields does well. He had over 1,000 yards rushing last year. I get it. You'd like to have seen improvement in the passing game up until this point in the season, but I think at this point ... we can't worry about that. We've got to find a way to move the football."

Harris: "I feel like we've seen this before though, with Justin Fields specifically. Is it surprising that they've gone away from what he did well last year in an effort to develop the passing game, gotten away from what he does maybe best?"

Ryan: "At this point, you play to his strengths. You go out there, and you try and let him do what he does. I think it's getting him on the move early. I think it's designed runs. I think it's all of those things to try to get him into some kind of rhythm. They have not been able to establish a rhythm for Justin in the first three games, and I think maybe some of that getting him moving, designed runs, allowing him to kinda say, 'Hey, it's one [his first read], or it's not there, and I'm taking off.' That allows you to get into a rhythm, and then, all of the sudden, you start throwing it from the pocket better. I would expect to see that. I'm sure this coaching staff understands where his talent is at, and I would expect them to do some things differently."

Harris: "Matt Eberflus is 3-17 as a head coach. Do you feel like he's already on the hot seat?"

Ryan: "It's probably very warm. It's a place that expects to win and wants to win now, and I also think with the change in the NFC North, right? The departure of Aaron Rodgers, the Lions are playing better, Minnesota down this year, at least through the start, another 0-3 team in the NFC North. I feel like there's an expectation to get it done now. I think you need to win games. You need to win games at this point and you need to at least show signs of life."

When looking for a positive note, Ryan mentioned the Bears' schedule softening up. After playing Denver, it's the Washington Commanders, the Minnesota Vikings and the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Bears' next four opponents are a combined 3-9. Two of those opponents are winless.

You can hear more from Matt Ryan on the call for Sunday's Bears game at noon on CBS.

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