The Chicago Bears players didn’t know what to expect when they finally showed up for the start of offseason practices on March 4. They had heard a lot about Matt Eberflus and his new coaching staff. Still, it was the first time they had worked together in the same building. First impressions go a long way in this business. It seems that Eberflus didn’t take long to make one. At least based on feedback from multiple players.
Larry Mayer from chicagobears.com had the chance to speak with some familiar faces from last season. Assessing their thoughts on what was to come, he asked what their initial thoughts were on the new coaching staff. It turns out that a particular buzzword has emerged among them. Trevis Gipson offered the first preview.
“The coaching staff has a lot energy, the guys who come back have a nice energy. I think there is something that feels different this year. Being back at Halas Hall for the first day is exciting and energetic, and it’s fun.
Cole Kmet quickly followed that up with his own commentary.
“There are a lot of new faces, so I get to know everyone. It’s really exciting and there are a lot of new things energy here.”
Eberflus promised that he would place a high demand on this team in the future. Nothing less than 100% commitment would be acceptable. It’s not just about gamers. He would demand it from his coaches and from himself as well. Through his sound, the 51-year-old holds his end of the bargain. His guys were ready to go as soon as the players arrived. Now is the time to determine who will give the same in return.
Hopes are high, but the Bears head coach is under no illusions. He sounded like a man who knows big business is coming on this list. Not just because he and general manager Ryan Poles want to bring in their own players. He also knows that this demanding new team culture will not suit everyone. It’s not easy and requires a real passion for football. Some of the guys left over from last year won’t be ready to make those sacrifices.
The Chicago Bears are entering a kind of audition phase.
It is important to remember that this new coaching staff wants to make them better. It’s their job. However, the reality is that they have no loyalty to anyone the team hasn’t signed in the past two weeks. Guys like Justin Fields, Roquan Smith, Jaylon Johnson and a few others aren’t going anywhere. All others can be considered consumables. This means they are starting over.
If they want to stay beyond 2022, they have to earn it. It means playing well on the pitch. Keep that in mind. When the Chicago Bears went 5-11 in 2014, the plan was overhauled. Of the 22 starters on offense and defense on this team, only four have made it past that freshman under Ryan Pace and John Fox. That’s how massive and rapid the turnover can be over the next calendar year.
If the players are smart, they will take inspiration from the coaches.
They must bring energy and a sense of urgency to this season. Failing to impress almost certainly means they will be out of work in 2023. Which of them will get the message before it’s too late remains to be seen.
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