Chicago Bears defensive end Montez Sweat recently opened up about his roller-coaster year during the 2023 season. Sweat dropped insight on Bears head coach Matt Eberflus that many Bears fans wouldn’t have known after two years of his regime in Chicago.
Sweat was a star on the Washington Commanders’ defense before they decided to strip mine their assets and rebuild this offseason. Sweat was traded to the Bears at the deadline. His teammate, Chase Young, was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
Montez Sweat felt devalued after the trade
Per Sweat’s interview on the NFL website, the star pass rusher wasn’t enthusiastic about joining Chicago initially. Not because he hated the Bears, but because Sweat saw himself devalued as a player and human:
“I was definitely discouraged, disappointed when I got traded,” he said. “Nobody wants to get traded; just an asset, a bond, a value.”
$98 million from the Chicago Bears made Sweat feel better
Sweat said he felt better after the Bears signed him to a contract extension. The Bears’ hefty $ 98 million worth of faith in Sweat allowed the star pass rusher to play more “free” and “loose” for Chicago. Sweat said the trade ultimately worked out in his favor:
“Do I look back on it, yeah,” Sweat said of the trade working out in his favor despite his initial discouragement. “I feel like it was what God wanted.”
The trade looks like one of the best moves the Bears have made on defense since the trade for Khalil Mack. Sweat recorded six sacks for the Bears and helped make the rest of the defensive line better at pass rushing. Sweat’s 12.5 sacks in the 2023 regular season earned him a Pro Bowl appearance for the first time in his career.
Sweat: Matt Eberflus is a funny guy
Sweat dropped a quote about Eberflus that would surprise many fans of the Bears:
“I like coach Flus. He’s a player’s coach,” Sweat said. “He puts his playmakers in a position to make plays. And he’s a funny guy.”
After his somewhat surprising revelation about “Flus,” Sweat chuckled.
Eberflus is known for being stoic in press conferences with reporters, even if many reporters think he comes off as a clown. His postgame speeches in locker rooms are typically so banal that players are seen scrolling their phones rather than paying attention to what Eberflus has to say. Sweat gets to see the side of Eberflus that has a sense of humor behind closed doors.
Sweat’s comments about putting playmakers in a position to succeed, at least on defense, seem on point. The Bears’ defense improved greatly in the latter part of the season for two reasons. Eberflus called the defense. A free and loose Sweat was making plays on some of the worst quarterbacks in the league.
Sweat seems determined to play well for Eberflus next season.
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