Eberflus is a Nerd, LB Shuffle, Heart and Hustle, and Other Bears Bullets

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Eberflus is a Nerd, LB Shuffle, Heart and Hustle, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

The Bears closing Sunday’s practice to fans made me cancel my weekending shenanigans, but it opened a window for me to cook my own dinner last night. And I suppose the end result was a win, as the cheesey garlic bread is one of the best things I’ve ever made.

Four tablespoons of butter (softened and seasoned with garlic powder), Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with your heart, not with a measuring spoon. Spread the butter on your bread of choice. I was using split French bread sandwich loafs like they sell at Aldi. Top with shredded cheese (I used a blend of colby jack, mozzarella, and gouda). Pop that sucker in the oven for 12 minutes at 400 degrees and you have one heckuva side dish.

Thank me later.

  • If you read last Monday’s Bullets, then you already knew that Peter King’s trip to Bears camp was coming. And, with that, you knew that his storytelling from Halas Hall was coming down the pipeline, too. Not that I was expecting anything different, but it didn’t disappoint. There are a bunch of fun, Bears-y anecdotes in the piece. We’ll get to some of the best ones in separate pieces that deserve their own posts. But before we do, there is one paragraph that I felt like sharing at the top of today’s post because it gave me a chuckle (as well as some perspective as to who Matt Eberflus is):

Eberflus, when setting up his office, wanted to honor the history of the franchise and make every player aware that their jobs are to return the franchise to prominence. In the space behind his desk that most coaches reserve for family photos or mementos, the new coach asked for pictures of the nine Bears with retired numbers. When players sit in his office, he asks them to name at least three of them. Some get Walter Payton. Some get Dick Butkus. But it’s ancient history to most. But they matter, and Eberflus wants to keep them alive for this generation.

  • The Chicago Bears totally hired a football nerd. And I’m kinda here for it. Look, in the end, the thing that matters most is wins and losses. If Eberflus wins, we’ll likely look back at his football nerdiness with a smile and a laugh. But if Eberflus loses, we probably won’t even remember the paragraph above. However, I’ll always have a soft spot for a coach who has an appreciation for Bears’ history. More than that, I appreciate a coach who understands the importance to build something that future generations can be proud of when looking back. Football fandom is generational. And while prior generations passed down greatness, there hasn’t been much for this generation to pass to the youths. Perhaps Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles are in the opening stages of building that kind of thing.
  • On the one hand, this could be a sign that the Bears’ culture shift is moving in the right direction:
  • … but on the other hand, if attitude and hustle are the strengths of the Bears’ defense at this point, then that unit could be in for a long year. Then again, I don’t fully believe Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams believes heart and hustle are the sole strong suits of this defense. I can’t look at that roster without thinking about the potential that secondary has to be special. Plenty needs to go right for that group for it to happen. But the floor is high when you’re starting with Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson as veteran leaders. And to this point, Jaquan Brisker has been everything you’d want to see from a prospect. If the “D” is good, it’ll be because the secondary is winning its battles.

“You’re trying to fit it together and put the best guys out there, and is this combination of corners better than this combination? You also have to look up matchup, so that’s a week-to-week thing. Sometimes it might look different week to week, where it’s based on a matchup situation we like, and then by down and distance. You might like a certain matchup better on third down in two minute than you do on first down or second down. So that’s all-encompassing.”

  • Firstly, what sticks out to me is that Eberflus was far more willing to give an answer about potential schematics than his predecessor ever was. And, secondly, it is refreshing to hear a willingness to be flexible with future game plans, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Defensive flexibility hasn’t always been there in recent years for these Bears. Adding someone with Gordon’s flexibility to shadow receivers who lineup outside and inside could level the playing field for Chicago’s defense. We’ve seen the likes of Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson avoid Jaylon Johnson on the outside and destroy Bears DBs from the slot in recent years. And while players like that will still get their share of wins, combating them with a worthwhile corner won’t make this the mismatch it has been in the past.
  • Hopefully, everything gets squared away and Adams doesn’t have any more legal issues during his time in Chicago.
  • The Bears are unfazed by linebacker Roquan Smith having a hold-in that is keeping him absent from practice, writes the Sun-TImes’ Mark Potash. And yet, the Bears hosted four linebackers for tryouts last week and signed a pair. So, it’s not as if they’re wholly unbothered by the absence — but they put on a good front! I suppose someone has to take over Smith’s summertime snaps. At least Smith hints at being available “when the smoke clears” in 34 days.
  • I really hope I don’t end up thinking that the Bears will regret not paying Zay Jones $8M per year. While that felt like a lot at the time, seeing the 2017 Senior Bowl standout perhaps coming into his own at age 27 might nag at me as I watch other parts of this WR room fall apart:
  • With that in mind, I think Patrick is onto something…
  • … even if I’d be hesitant to add an injury-prone receiver to a room getting bitten by the injury bug.
  • When the Vikings were unable to secure a trade-up to take Justin Fields, they ended up settling on drafting Virginia Tech left tackle Christian Darrisaw. And it sure sounds like he is kicking butt in camp:
  • We’ll see how he does against Robert Quinn, though!
  • On the other side of the line, I’m not looking forward to seeing this collection of Bears linemen try to stop Eagles defensive lineman Jordan Davis:
  • Of course, they have until Week 15 to scout and come up with a viable game plan. That’s plenty of time, right?
  • Maybe it’ll look something like this:
  • Speaking of Eagles camp, seeing this makes me hope that the Bears’ Arlington Heights venture comes with a practice facility that could handle this type of packed house:
https://twitter.com/1kalwaysopen_/status/1556444682867118080
  • College football is coming. Long live college football bands. Especially the ones at HBCUs:
  • Well, we’re waiting:
  • Missed it by that much:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.