While appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, Chicago Bears Matt Eberflus talked about his past and told a hard-hitting truth about the franchise that the fans must hear and understand.
There is no question that Matt Eberflus faces a tall task with being the new head coach of the Chicago Bears, returning them to prominence and relevance.
Also, he is tasked with helping develop Justin Fields, a quarterback with physical tools that are exciting yet need to be fully unlocked to reveal full potential.
It’s a daunting feat, and it’s only been a couple of months since Eberflus delivered his first press conference with no applause. Furthermore, given how the draft played out, several Bears fans were not pleased with the lack of offensive help, notably wide receivers, that came as part of the draft haul.
So, when Eberflus made an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show on Thursday, he was naturally asked about it. Eberflus had a simple response that should hopefully alleviate the pitchforks and stone-throwers that occupy Bears Twitter.
We’re going to build this offense around him, around his skill set…that’s the most important thing.
There we go. Can patience please be enacted? It must be noted that the wide receiver market became vastly inflated this offseason due mainly to the deal given to Christian Kirk of the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s a fair assessment.
Also, while there were plenty of wide receivers to choose from in this draft, the Bears opted to go in a different direction, which should be criticized, but draft value matters. It is not wise to reach for a player at a position when evaluation and valuation do not coincide.
Let’s look at what they took. Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker are being added to address a porous secondary that, outside of Jaylon Johnson, is beat down and in need of reinforcements.
Also, for the new Outside Zone scheme that is being installed in the offense to work, a specific brand of the wide receiver is needed. Mike Shanahan had it with Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey. Kyle Shanahan now has that with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
For the Chicago Bears, the hope is that Darnell Mooney has his complement with Velus Jones. High age or not, speed is evident, and blocking is very apparent, as Robert Schmitz of the Windy City Gridiron points out.
Also, when the market is too high, and cap space is too low, overaggressiveness will not work. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy did it and failed. Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus trying to do the opposite and it will take time.
Matt Eberflus speaks directly from the Chicago Bears organization and is asking for patience when talking about developing Justin Fields.
In defense of Matt Eberflus, he was given the luxury of having a general manager who continuously traded back to draft offensive linemen and other depth pieces.
Players like Trenton Gill, who may very well be the starting punter, and Trestan Ebner, who could rotate into the backfield as a utility player, may be of value.
Also, having a player like defensive end Dominique Robinson with high upside could pay off down the line. The same with safety Elijah Hicks, who could be a core special-teamer down the line.
Again though, the amount of draft picks invested in the offensive line is key. For the outside-zone scheme to work, it requires more athletic, more aggressive, and faster players up front.
Having the smash-mouth identity works but athleticism matters. Braxton Jones, Zachary Thomas, Ja’Tyre Carter, and Doug Kramer fit that mold, and while each has their limitations, they provide what is being asked for, at least based on their measurables.
Again, please, temper your expectations.
This process for the Bears will take a full rebuild, and if Matt Eberflus is willing to take the long road to really rebuild this team towards continued long-term success, then at least he should be allowed to show what he can do as opposed to begging for quick fixes for a flash in the pan moment.
It’s the same with deep dish pizza. Anyone can make it, but look at Lou Malnati’s, Palermo’s on 95th, and Piero’s, all three restaurants based in Chicago that make excellent Deep Dish Pizza, but there is a process. Moreover, look at Pat’s Pizza; if you love the thin crust, it takes time.
Sure, the Bears need to get back to relevance, but one magic season won’t do it. Continued success will do that. Be patient and learn.