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Questions About Bears Balancing Act

The Bears are walking a fine line between wanting to win games but also develop quarterback Justin Fields and the passing game, although two catches between Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney on the year says it isn't so fine a line.

Darnell Mooney could easily be losing his head.

Instead, the Bears wide receiver is keeping his cool about has two receptions for 4 yards total for the first two games.

"Just continue to be me and just work," Mooney said. "All I can do is just continue to stay on the jugs, run routes, keep my conditioning up, worry about what I can worry about.

"Then the opportunities are going to come. Like I said, they believe in me, the players believe in me, my team believes in me. There is eventually going to be a time that I do get a ball or whatnot, when I take it to the crib then everyone is going to go, 'oh, there he goes.'"

That's one way to look at it, the positive viewpoint, the team viewpoint. Quarterback Justin Fields follows this approach, too, even if there are faults with this logic.

"Like I said about Darnell on Sunday, if he caught zero passes and won the game, he wouldn't have any problem," Fields said. "If I threw zero passes and we won the game, I wouldn't have any problems. Our goal as a team, as an offense, is to win games.

"Nobody's looking at how many passes did I have, how many yards did I have. We're just all trying to win the game."

However, Fields had to admit it might not be easy to develop as a quarterback if he's throwing 11 times a game. This isn't the Abe Gibron era of Bears football.

"Yeah, maybe," he said. "But my No. 1 priority in my job is to run the plays like I'm taught to and to execute them at the best of my ability, and to ultimately win games. So, if our offensive coordinator thinks the plays he's giving me are going to help us win games, that's all I care about."

The problem is, they didn't win the game. 

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Fields says he is getting up an hour earlier every day, at 5:45 or 6 a.m. to have more time to study, work and prepare.  

If they're only going to throw 11 times in a game and 28 for two games, he might as well stay in bed. 

"Look, we're working through it," said Kmet, who hasn't made a catch yet after getting 60 last year. "I am going to remain optimistic like I always am about it. And we're just going to keep working every day and keep grinding through it."

Coach Matt Eberflus calls it a matter of time before it all looks like a professional offense, and believes no one should worry about the pass development/running issue for now because things change in a hurry.

"I think it's early," Eberflus said. "It's so early in the season right now. We've got two games in.

"Let's let this thing move forward, OK? And continue to grow."

Ebeflus calls all of this natural progression, although it looked like anything but progress and seemed really unnatural in Sunday night's game.

"You're always growing offense and defense and special teams," Eberflus said. "You're growing your scheme as you go, you really are. I've started defensively some years where I started out playing mostly zone, very little pressure and all of the sudden Game 5, I said, 'Hey, we've got to do a little bit more because of the pass rush.' And then all of the sudden start bringing more heat and playing more man and playing more match coverage. Whatever you do to be able to figure that out.

"That's every single year is that way, because you're working with a new set of skill, right? And then you see them in game and then you work with what's working. And that's offense and defense and the kicking game and that’s the way the in-season maneuvers you have to make to make your team successful."

There are some who would say they can be even more successful if the quarterback is allowed to pass.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven