Bears fans might not agree on who they want the team to add, but I think we can all agree that they need some fresh faces on the offensive side of the ball.
Bringing in some more blockers would be a nice touch. Rounding out the receivers room would be grand, too. But in discussing what he wants from the Bears offense in an interview on the Peter King Podcast, Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus made mention of the team’s need to round out the running backs room as a place where they could be adding talent.
Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.
“We have to have runners, you know, different pace Runners,” Eberflus said (h/t NBCS Bears). “We have a good runner now. We’re going to add some other pieces in there, potentially.”
Well, that is certainly an interesting nugget to drop in an interview. Because as Eberflus points out, the Bears already have “runners” on the roster. “Different pace” runners, at that. But to bring in more? When the team has needs elsewhere? I mean, I’m not opposed to mixing it up in the backfield. And after committing to bringing a fullback back into the fold, a logical next step would be to further fortify the backfield.
To be clear, it’s not as if the RBs Room is a barren wasteland. I imagine David Montgomery is the “good runner” Eberflus makes mention of in the quote above. But the team also has Khalil Herbert and the recently acquired from the waiver wire Darrynton Evans. Both backs I would consider to be “different pace” runners from what Montgomery brings to the table. And yet, the Bears want to add MORE!? As if I was needing another reason to be curious about what this offseason will bring.
Will the Bears try to pluck a back out of free agency? Last offseason, the team brought in Damien Williams late in free agency. That turned out to be a prudent move, as Williams was able to contribute as a reserve, spot starter, and core special teams member. Someone like Darrel Williams (Chiefs) or Justin Jackson (Chargers) fits that mold. Williams played ball in Kansas City, which means he has familiarity with new GM Ryan Poles. Meanwhile, Jackson was a depth option in Los Angeles, who – while he struggled with durability – could be a decent depth or change-of-pace pass-catching option out of the backfield.
Poles could try his hand in the upcoming NFL Draft. With just six picks right now, the Bears don’t have too much draft capital. And with that in mind, I would advise using premium capital on a running back. But the team has done well in unearthing Day 3 contributors out of the backfield. Look no further than the aforementioned Herbert. The Bears could do worse than adding a fifth- or sixth-round back. Maybe someone like Kyren Williams (Notre Dame), James Cook (Georgia), or Isaih Pacheco (Rutgers) might be targets to keep tabs on depending on how their draft stock settles.
In any case, NFL teams go through running backs at a dizzying rate to the point where we should have our eyes open for possible changes in the running backs room. After all, the head coach hinted that much by bringing it up in the first place.