Besides Justin Fields’ in-season growth, Cole Kmet’s development is one of the biggest and most important things to happen for the Chicago Bears in 2022.
And when you make big strides as a Year 3 player, big honors tend to come your way.
First, it was the five touchdowns over the last three games. And now, it is earning honorary captain status for the Bears’ Week 11 game against the Falcons.
Head Coach Matt Eberflus made the announcement during his Friday press conference, capping what’s been a week of praise going Kmet’s way (highlighted by these kind words from earlier in the week):
The words don’t get much kinder than that from your head coach.
Kmet has certainly earned his captaincy for this week. Just think about the rollercoaster season he has been through. It began in an offseason in which he was training with Fields and Darnell Mooney to build a rapport with his teammates. But those workouts didn’t pay out immediate dividends, as Kmet was targeted just twice and had no catches or receiving yards in his first two games of the season. Imagine putting all that offseason work to be blanked in Weeks 1 and 2 to start the year. Can’t envision that being a good feeling for a third-year player who struggled to find steady footing in his first two years as a pro.
But as we often discuss around here, it is so often more about how you bounce back than what your fall is like in the first place. And other than Fields, no one has shown more in-season improvement than Kmet. Because even though there were some early season struggles, we can look at them now as a minor setback to set up a major in-season bounce back. Kmet climbed out of the funk and is in the midst of his best stretch as a player. Kmet has five touchdown catches over his last three games and is coming off a season-best 74-yard receiving game. Everything is coming up Cole. And everyone is taking notice. Now, he is a captain. It is a badge of honor from the coach and a sign that things are truly on the up-tick for Kmet.