Matt Eberflus has a challenge after losing elite players this offseason
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus didn’t have to take many dishes down before starting the teams remodel. The cupboard was already bare. One analyst thinks he has one of the worst situations among the ten new coaches this season. Matt Eberflus is taking over a team that PFF ranks at or near the bottom at three position units, offensive line, defensive line, and wide receiver.
The Bears have improved at the secondary, after taking cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. But that’s pretty much the only unit that got better this offseason. Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Allen Robinson leaving the Bears have left significant holes on the roster. Robert Quinn might be heading off the Bears roster shortly.
Bucky Brooks, with nfl.com, ranked the 10 new head coaches in order of how hard their situation will be with their new team. Brooks ranked Eberflus at nine, just edging out former Bears head coach Lovie Smith (Houston Texans) at 10.
The old-school coach brings a disciplined and detailed approach to an organization that had lost its identity as a blue-collar bunch. Eberflus hopes to rely on effort, toughness and enthusiasm to make up for a lack of blue-chip players on the roster. The first-time head coach has a potential five-star quarterback on the roster in Justin Fields, but the second-year pro needs more weaponry around him to push the ball down the field. In addition,
Chicago needs more trench warriors on each side of the ball to better control the point of attack. The play of the offensive and defensive lines must improve immediately for the Bears to gain ground on their rivals.
Eberflus is intent on finding more “M&Ms” (motor and mean), but he will likely need to coax better effort out of his holdovers to make immediate improvements in Year 1. While effort and enthusiasm can make up for some of a team’s deficiencies, the rookie head coach will need to convince his team to outwork opponents in order to chalk up wins this season.
Just adding more noise to the fact the Bears are lacking elite talent this season…
Inexperience will be all around Matt Eberflus’ Bears team in 2022
Matt Eberflus will need to hope second-year quarterback Justin Fields is a true franchise player for the Bears. Fields will need to improve his subpar stats from 2021 with a patchwork offensive line and no elite wide receivers to help.
Matt Eberflus might be a coaching masochist, as he decided to hire offensive and defensive coordinators with no-to-bad experience at their respective positions. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL before. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams had a middle-of-the-pack defense for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012-13. Players complained about his in-game decision-making during his only season as a defensive coordinator.
The gig Eberflus taken and set up for himself looks daunting. At least for this season. How long the Bears are bad for will likely be determined by when the team uses their purse to attract talent in free agency. The Bears are projected to have the most cap space next season.
Matt Eberflus H.I.T.S. culture is the Bears’ hope this season
Eberflus is known for bringing the H.I.T.S. philosophy to teams he coaches. He’s already set the tone during practices at OTA’s and veterans’ minicamp. The Bears had to forfeit a practice with players going too hard in drills. After minicamp last week, Eberflus warned players to be in shape before training camp, as they’d run hard in July.
Will it be enough to cure the Bears’ ills this season? Ha no. Not with the team the way it is currently. But Eberflus and the Bears can certainly lay the groundwork for a better 2023.
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