When the Chicago Bears hired Matt Eberflus to be their head coach, the organization needed a culture change as much as it did a coaching change.
Matt Nagy’s Bears not only struggled on the field, but also radiated negative vibes from the locker room. When searching for his replacement, it was crucial to find somebody that not only has what it takes as a coach on the field, but also someone with the philosophy to change Chicago Bears culture.
It appears Matt Eberflus is already hard at work on both.
The Bears head coach recently made an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” where he detailed his philosophy as a head coach, his plan for the Bears, and details regarding helping Justin Fields succeed.
“I would say this…look at the tape. That’s my philosophy,” Eberflus told Eisen. “What you’ll see on tape is guys that play extremely hard, they’re very intense, they know how to take the ball away.”
Of course, Eberflus is known for being a defensive coach. Taking the ball away and playing physical defense is what he knows best. That’s how he cut his chops in the NFL. The real mystery is what his plan will be for the offensive side of the ball.
“We’re gonna play hard. We’re going to be very intense and we’re going to take care of the ball. We’re going to be smart.,” Eberflus said regarding his offense. “I’m going to drill these guy in situations to understand the critical points in winning football games.”
Now all of this is much easier said than done, of course, but Eberflus seems to have the exact mentality needed to be a successful head coach. Especially in Chicago.
Good football starts with being tough and being smart, two skills the Bears have lacked in recent years, and it’s refreshing to know the new Bears coaching staff is in touch with those details early on.
Eberflus is also looking to cater to his young quarterback. The process and approach he preaches might be great, but if Justin Fields struggles, none of it will result in a productive offense. Eberflus mentioned during the interview that his plan has always been to build an offense around Fields’ skillset.
"We're going to build this offense around him, around his skill set… that's the most important thing."— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) May 20, 2022
Speaking the fans' language, new @ChicagoBears head coach Matt Eberflus told us what he likes about QB @justnfields + how he's building the offense around him:#NFL #GoBears pic.twitter.com/gr5Su9h0ON
“We are going to build this offense around him and his skillset. Part of that is acquiring the skillset to fit around him. That’s the most important thing,” Eberflus said.
Luke Getsy (offensive coordinator), Andrew Janocko (quarterbacks coach), and Tyke Tolbert (passing game coordinator) will all have a large impact on the scheme the Bears run, which should be a branch off of the Shannahan-Kubiak tree. The Bears are likely to be rooted in a system that emphasizes the wide stretch zone and play action pass.
If all of this wasn’t enough to get you fired up for the new head coach…Matt Eberflus seems to have his finger on the pulse of an NFL locker room as well. Eberflus detailed to Eisen that his coaching philosophy is centered around his relationships with players.
According to Eberflus, he “believes in the coach and player relationship”, and believes it is the only way to get the most out of each player on the team. In order to maintain strong relationships, Eberflus cited four things he tries to do:
“Model the behavior you want to see.”
“Inspire to act, do right, and work hard.”
“Challenge them in a respectful way.”
“Encourage. Football is hard. Keep going.”
There you have it. Model, inspire, challenge, and encourage. The potential recipe for team chemistry and big numbers in the win column.
Look, I don’t want to fall too in love with Eberflus just yet. He’s yet to coach a down of football for the Chicago Bears. All I’m saying is that it’s really not hard to see why Ryan Poles chose this guy to be his head coach and why people around the league speak so highly of him.
As far as first impressions go, he’s off to a real good start, and the vibe of the Bears already seems to be shifting. Especially when it comes to the coach.
Image via Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports