It’s draft season! Oh, wait, free agency is also around the corner!
With such a heavy plate, the Bears' new head coach, Matt Eberflus, should have his hands full in the coming weeks as Chicago tries to field a legitimate contender again. Games or not, pro football does sleep in SMarch, the actual spring, and summer. There’s a lot of work to do before Eberflus is at the helm of a legitimate juggernaut, let alone a team worth writing home about.
Tuesday was the first time the first-time head coach spoke in public since his introductory press conference. With this week being the annual Scouting Combine, it’s also the first time —on a leaguewide scale anyway—that Eberflus was representing the Bears as a public face to other coaches, executives, and of course, prospective players.
Here’s what Eberflus had to say as the Bears start ramping up during free agency and the draft over the next two months.
Not that it’s surprising with a new regime, but Eberflus made sure to maintain everyone is starting with a clean slate at Halas Hall. Yes, Khalil Mack, that probably means (well, maybe!) even you have to earn some new keep!
#Bears HC Matt Eberflus on his players. “For a Lotta the guys, it’s a clean slate. I told the guys, hey, you’re walking on fresh grass here.”— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) March 1, 2022
As for one of those talismans, Roquan Smith, it’s notable that the Bears have not decided where the current MIKE backer will play in Eberflus’s scheme. Some have theorized that the fifth-year linebacker might be the Will in a more traditional Cover 2.
But maybe the Bears have plans to get Smith a legitimate partner in free agency or the draft instead.
#Bears HC Matt Eberflus says they haven’t yet decided which LB spot Roquan Smith will play.— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) March 1, 2022
Have no fear for those of you worrying whether Eberflus would be a one-trick pony only involved with the Bears defense. He’s got the CEO spirit in him already.
#Bears HC Matt Eberflus says he’s been involved in meetings with all three units on his team. Special teams, Offense and Defense.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) March 1, 2022
If you’re concerned about the Bears’ cornerback depth outside of Jaylon Johnson, you’re not alone. Chicago has a lot of work to do before it has a passable secondary on the boundaries again.
At least Eberflus and Co. know what they want out of a cornerback in their scheme.
“We want quickness and instincts. We want guys that are ballhawks at the defensive back position”. - #Bears HC Matt Eberflus on what he wants in a DB.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) March 1, 2022
Outside of that, well: Mum’s the word.
You can’t be giving away any strategy or plans to the media! (Said with sincerity.)
New Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is here. Opens by basically saying he can’t say much. Here we go. pic.twitter.com/hCEMURIymN— Matt Zahn (@mattzahnsports) March 1, 2022
The Bears and Eberflus have their work cut out for them. But at least their head coach appears to have his wits about him in his first full-fledged Scouting Combine as the head honcho.