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Las Vegas Raiders: Pros and cons of hiring new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy

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On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Raiders officially hired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. Of course, everyone waited for the official announcement after Kliff Kingsbury backed out of an agreement with the team because of a reported contract dispute.

This time, the Raiders’ negotiations with their targeted hire went smoothly, and now they can look toward a future with Getsy. 

What can you expect out of a Getsy-led offense?

While going through the encouraging aspects and concerns with Getsy, you will become familiar with his background and track record, which will raise some questions about his play-calling but also provide hope that the Raiders offense could fulfill Antonio Pierce’s expectations to score 24 points (at minimum) per game.

Let’s get into the biggest pros and cons of the Raiders’ most important offensive coaching hire.

Pro: Luke Getsy has a history of working with athletic QBs

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Getsy has served as an offensive coordinator for three seasons, one year at Mississippi State in 2018 and in the last two years with the Chicago Bears. In all three situations, he worked with a dual-threat quarterback.

Under Getsy, former Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald threw for 1,767 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions and ran for 1,121 yards and 13 touchdowns.

On Getsy’s watch, Justin Fields threw for 4,804 yards, 33 touchdowns and 20 interceptions and rushed for 1,800 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

Before we break down the quarterback production in Getsy’s offenses, we can see that he’s accustomed to working with signal-callers who can use their legs. Aaron Rodgers, though he didn’t run for a ton of yards, also fits into that mold.

Though Getsy joined clubs that had the quarterback in place before he took on the offensive coordinator role, his previous job situations may indicate a preference to work with an athletic starting signal-caller.

As the quarterback position evolves, each team should have a signal-caller who’s naturally mobile in the pocket. With Aidan O’Connell, Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer on the roster, Getsy may look to modernize the Raiders’ quarterback room. 

Con: Luke Getsy doesn’t have history developing young QBs

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Though Getsy has called plays for offenses that featured functionally mobile quarterbacks who can routinely pick up yards with their legs, he’s struggled to develop them.

Every year at Mississippi State, Fitzgerald saw his completion rate drop, and he finished with his lowest completion percentage (51.6 percent) under Getsy. 

Fields improved incrementally and struggled mightily through the first half of the 2023 campaign. Yes, he has lapses with slow processing and decision-making in the pocket, but early this past season, the Bears offense didn’t quite suit his athletic strengths either. 

ESPN’s Dan Orlovosky had serious questions about Fields’ tentativeness in his second year under Getsy.

After a Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fields said that he played in a “robotic” manner, which should make you wonder if Getsy designed an offense that best suited his skill set.

Pro: Luke Getsy has an impressive track record with Davante Adams

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During his time in Green Bay, Getsy helped develop Davante Adams into one of the league’s best wide receivers. 

In 2016, the Packers promoted Getsy from an offensive quality control coach to a wide receivers coach, and in the same year, Adams had a breakout showing, hauling in 75 passes for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

In 2020 and 2021, Getsy served as the Packers’ passing game coordinator, and in both years, Adams earned All-Pro honors. He led the league in touchdowns for the 2020 term and racked up a career-high 1,553 receiving yards in 2021.

Yes, Rodgers, former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and Green Bay’s current lead skipper Matt LaFleur all helped Adams’ development, but we cannot leave out Getsy in the equation.

Adams probably feels a sense of optimism with the hire of his former position coach and passing game coordinator.

Con: As an offensive coordinator, Luke Getsy has fielded below-average aerial attacks

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On one hand, Getsy deserves some credit for the Packers’ top-10 passing attacks in 2020 and 2021 because of his responsibilities as the passing game coordinator, but as the primary play-caller of an offense, his teams have ranked near the bottom in several statistical passing categories.

In 2018, Getsy’s Mississippi State offense finished 112th among FBS programs in passing yards per game. The Bulldogs had much more success on the ground with a three-man ground attack that featured Fitzgerald and running backs Kylin Hill and Aeris Williams.

In Chicago, Getsy’s passing offenses ranked 32nd (last) and 27th in passing yards per game. 

Fields is also responsible for the Bears’ subpar passing attacks over the past couple of years, but as an offensive coordinator and primary play-caller, Getsy has yet to prove he’s able to field a decent aerial attack.

Pro: Luke Getsy had recent success with a tight end similar to Michael Mayer

NFL: Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
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After the Bears hired Getsy, tight end Cole Kmet saw an immediate spike in his scoring numbers. In his first two seasons, he hauled in just two touchdown passes, going scoreless in 2021. Over the last two years, Kmet has reached paydirt 13 times. 

Getsy found ways to feature Kmet in the red zone. The 6-6, 260-pound tight end has scored 11 of his last 13 touchdowns on passing plays within the 20 yards of the goal line.

Like Kmet, Raiders tight end Michael Mayer came out of Notre Dame as a second-round pick. 

At Notre Dame, Mayer had more impressive receiving numbers as a key cog in the Fighting Irish’s passing attack in all three of his collegiate terms, which indicates he may have more upside and potential than Kmet, who didn’t break out until his third and final year on campus.

Going forward, Mayer should have a bigger role in the Raiders offense, and Getsy may be able to tap into his full potential in the passing game.

Con: Luke Getsy’s high-end ground attacks have featured quarterbacks

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On one hand, the Raiders need a functionally mobile quarterback, but they shouldn’t depend on that signal-caller to lead them in rushing yards, which has been the case for Getsy’s offenses when he’s the offensive coordinator.

At Mississippi State, Fitzgerald led the team in rushing. Fields racked up the most rushing yards for the Bears in 2022 and 2023 campaigns.

While Getsy should design an offense that fits his quarterback’s strengths, he must continue to work on developing an effective short passing game, which allows the signal-caller to complete high-percentage throws and avoid unnecessary or excessive hits in and outside the pocket.

In 2023, Getsy dialed up plays that helped Fields put the ball in wideout DJ Moore’s hands in space with room to run after the catch. Moore ranked 11th in yards after the catch for the season.

If Getsy can utilize wide receiver Tre Tucker in the same way that he featured Moore in the short passing game, he can flip this con into a pro with a strong plus for his ability to use quick-strike plays to protect his quarterback and help him build a rhythm with his speedy receivers.

Maurice Moton covers the Las Vegas Raiders for Sportsnaut. You can follow him on Twitter at @MoeMoton.

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