Chicago Bears: Matt Eberflus lets coordinators take control

Chicago Bears, Matt Eberflus - Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears, Matt Eberflus - Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is not a micromanager. He gives his coaches freedom to run their units as they wish and he just oversees things, much like the CEO of a company does. When Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles started his job, he promised things would be different. He wanted to change the attitude around Halas Hall, to make it feel more like a winning franchise.

Now that the regular season is less than a month away, we see how different things really are. Poles stood pat and did not overspend on any free agents, a turnaround from the Pace regime. He also made a concerted effort to bring in young players. As a result, he turned five draft picks into 11.

Another thing was that Poles made the offensive line a priority. Of the daft picks he had, four of them were offensive linemen. This might not help right away but it should be big in the future.

The future is what Poles is most concerned with. With previous regimes, they’d have one good season then, because they mortgaged the future on that season, there would be multiple bad ones. Poles wants to change that. He wants to build a consistent contender. He wants to bring the Chicago Bears back to relevance and always be in the mix when talking about the best teams.

Eberflus is a man who complements Poles’ philosophy with Chicago Bears

One way to do that is to hire the right head coach. Poles felt that former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus was that man.

Eberflus is different from former head coach Matt Nagy in many ways. Of course, he is a defensive-minded coach with no experience running an offense. Nagy came in as an offensive genius as well as a quarterback whisperer.

Additionally, Eberflus is more intense than Nagy. Nagy was a player’s coach but was a little lax in holding the players accountable for their play. That won’t happen under Eberflus. He has his HITS principle — Hustle, Intensity, Takeaways, and Smart play.

After two preseason games, we see that principle in action. The players are buying into it and responding.

Under Poles and Eberflus, we see a bit of a change among the players. The dumb penalties are down. The players are playing hard throughout the game and the defense just swarms to the ball.

Hopefully, that carries over to the regular season.

Chicago Bears HC Matt Eberflus is not a micromanager

In order to have the players buy into the new atmosphere, the coaches have to do it first. They are the ones trying to instill it into the players.

So far, Eberflus is doing a good job of dealing with the coaches. Nagy was a micromanager with the offense. He had this idea of what his system should be and he demanded everyone fit into it. It did not matter if he did not have the players to do it. He wanted the players to adjust to his system instead of the other way around.

The coaches understood that they didn’t have the players to do certain things Nagy wanted. They couldn’t possibly sell the players on something they themselves didn’t believe in. As a result, we saw some of the differences go public.

For example, we saw offensive coordinator Bill Lazor publicly disagree with Nagy when it came to quarterback Justin Fields. Nagy did not want to use Fields in his rookie season, saying he still wasn’t ready. Lazor disagreed, saying that Fields was ready for anything that came his way.

We then saw how that affected Fields. When Nagy gave up play-calling during the season, the offense started to look competent. When reporters asked Fields about the change, he praised Lazor while appearing to criticize Nagy.

We won’t see that with Eberflus. He won’t micromanage the offense. He has Luke Getsy as his offensive coordinator. Getsy worked with one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Aaron Rodgers.

Eberflus will have some input, but he’ll let Getsy run the offense the way he wants. Getsy will call plays and make whatever changes he needs to whenever he feels it is necessary.

You might think that Eberflus might be more hands-on with the defense considering his experience. You’d be wrong, however. He brought over Alan Williams, James Rowe, and Dave Borgonzi from the Colts. Williams is the defensive coordinator while Rowe is the cornerbacks coach. Borgonzi is the linebackers coach.

Since the three men worked with Eberflus in Indianapolis, they have an understanding of what he wants defensively. The defense will be similar, but Eberflus is hands-off and allows Williams to run it as he sees fit.

"That’s been that way all the way through since we started way back in January. It’s been Alan. Alan’s been in the room and he’s been leading the defense and he’s doing a really good job with it. And he certainly has put his fingerprints on it, changing the way we call things maybe to simplify or make them better or make them fit for how he wants to do it. I welcome that."

Eberflus has his input and determines what the goals are but his coordinators determine how to get there. If things don’t work out the way he wants, he’ll help get things back on track.

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Eberflus is 180 degrees different from Nagy. It’s exactly what Poles wants so he could pull the franchise out of its losing ways.