Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kirk Herbstreit Details Why Critics Don’t See How Good Matt Eberflus Is


The Chicago Bears took a considerable step forward in 2023, going from 3-14 the previous year to 7-10. If not for some painful 4th quarter collapses against Denver and Detroit, they likely would’ve finished with a winning record. Perhaps what stood out the most about that season was how the team weathered multiple storms and still found a way to improve. There was the 1-5 start to the season, during which a few players vented their frustrations about how things were going, specifically regarding the offensive coaching. They survived Justin Fields, who missed a month with a broken thumb. They survived a dropped Hail Mary in Cleveland, which would’ve won the game. Events that would’ve crushed many teams only seemed to fuel the Bears further. Credit for that must go to head coach Matt Eberflus.

Longtime college and NFL analyst Kirk Herbstreit has no direct ties to the Bears. He is as unbiased as it gets. That is why it was shocking to hear him talk on the Pat McAfee Show about the organization going into the 2024 season, specifically their head coach and the understated impact he has on the locker room. This team is far better than anybody wants to admit.

Matt Eberflus knows which buttons to push.

GM Ryan Poles said perhaps the coach’s greatest strength is his unflappability. Nothing seems to rattle the guy. He figured that out during their frequent golf outings together. Eberflus would struggle early, and Poles would trash talk, then by the time the 18 holes were over, the head coach had won the match. While infuriating on a personal level, it told Poles they had the right guy in charge. That mentality served the Bears well during two chaotic seasons in the midst of a rebuild. Despite all the controversies and the losing, Eberflus never changed his approach. He kept preaching that if players kept working hard, playing hard, and doing things the right way, the wins would come.

Time proved him correct. It is clear he has a firm grip on the locker room. Players love and respect him. The defense is back to being respectable. Even the offense is getting a massive facelift. Matt Eberflus brought in Shane Waldron to run the show. Keenan Allen arrived to pair with D.J. Moore at wide receiver. All signs point to Caleb Williams becoming their next quarterback. If Eberflus handles this situation the right way, Herbstreit is correct. Chicago will be a team nobody wants to see next January.

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Apr 2, 2024 4:50 pm

I just hope Eberflus leared to stay away from the dreaded prevent defense that prevented us from winning those three games his defense lost for us because his defense couldn’t hold a double digit lead late in the fourth quarter.

Apr 2, 2024 8:52 am

Footballatarlington1: Complains about people complaining on this site yet they complain about others’ comments. Can’t make this stuff up. A complainer complaining about what they perceive as complaints…too funny. :-}

Wes P
Wes P
Apr 2, 2024 8:47 am

The rebuild is coming closer to the finish. The talent level has been raised significantly during 2023 and this offseason. Through it all Matt Eberflus has been a constant encouragement to work hard and play smart. The team fell short but it never quit. That passion and togetherness of the Bears locker room has Eberflus finger print all over it.

Gator Joe
Apr 2, 2024 7:05 am

I am not going to worry about losing Waldron. We heard so many guys crying about losing Getsy early on before he had done anything. Well he was no great loss. If we lose Waldron to a head coaching gig that is a good thing. It means the offense clicked and the Bears won 12 or more games. I’ll take it. Good teams find a way to keep it going.

scott brs
scott brs
Apr 2, 2024 5:32 am

Arlington… not sure what you think I was bitching about. Some people just notice the constant flip flopping by one writer on here. Thought it would be nice if a couple other writers were on here more often.

Byron you couldn’t have said it any better.

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