INDIANAPOLIS — Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus understands the assignment that has been laid out in front of him. With the most cap space and the No. 1 overall pick in hand, Eberflus knows this is an offseason that can have a monumental impact on the franchise.
“What a great opportunity for the Bears organization,” Eberflus said Tuesday morning as the NFL Combine kicked off in downtown Indianapolis.
Heading into his second season as head coach, Eberflus is feeling confident in the direction of his team. His self-assurance stems from the strong working relationship that he has with general manager Ryan Poles and their shared ability to come to good decisions based on their process. This is something they established last year, but with the abundance of resources at their disposal, Eberflus believes they can make serious headway this offseason.
Before the NFL Draft arrives, the Bears will have an opportunity to sign veterans from around the league in free agency. Eberflus mentioned that their evaluation of this year’s free agency class is already complete, and even wrote over 60 reports based on his evaluations of players.
It doesn’t stop there. Eberflus said he plans to do the same exact thing for the draft class as he wants to be heavily involved.
“I want to get in there and know the players,” Eberflus said. “Look at their tape, study their season, and have a good understanding. Then, when [Poles] and I have conversations, you know we’re going to be on the same page when we pick.”
Eberflus doesn’t shy away from grinding, researching, or evaluating potential players because he wants to gain as much information as possible. He does this because he believes you have to have good information in order to make the best-informed decisions possible.
That’s why at the combine, Eberflus looks forward to sitting down one-on-one with potential prospects to learn more about these players and how they could fit in the Bears’ organization as a person and a teammate in addition to what they’re capable of on the field.
What traits should you watch for?
When Eberflus was asked about traits at various positions, he gave a glimpse into what he covets.
Eberflus wants players who have the ability to “turn the corner.” He went on the express the importance of being able to point “everything” toward the quarterback. He wants players who can move around the edge, and when they get past the quarterback, they must also have strength and determination to work their way back inside.
At Wide Receiver
Eberflus highlighted that the receivers who make the biggest impact, especially in the postseason, are those that are “making plays at critical moments.” He went on to say: “That’s what we need. If we can add a critical piece like that during the course of the draft, we’re certainly going to do that.”
At Defensive Line
Eberflus dropped a simple quote about what he wants out of this position group: “Big, long, and fast.”
The Bears can find players that fit that mold, but will it be in free agency, the draft, or both?
According to Eberflus …
All options are open.
“We have tremendous flexibility because we have that number one pick and all that revenue inside of free agency … Right now we leave everything open,” Eberflus said.
Make no mistake about it, the Bears are in a prime position to have their biggest (and best) offseason in years. The head coach of the Chicago Bears understands the importance of what lies in front of them and is laying the groundwork to ensure they capitalize.
It’s nearly crunch time for Eberflus and Poles. They’ve been working together for a little over a year now, and both seem to be putting in serious work in preparations for the offseason.
Soon, they will be making decisions that will have massive ramifications for the future of their team. Bears Fans just hope that those decisions are the right ones to propel the franchise into relevancy.
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