Thursday, July 4, 2024

Matt Eberflus Finally Revealed Why Bears Wanted D’Andre Swift So Bad

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Almost every decision the Chicago Bears made throughout the 2024 off-season made sense. Drafting Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze was obvious. So was trading for Keenan Allen and extending Jaylon Johnson. If there was one move that left some people puzzled, it was the big free agent deal they gave running back D’Andre Swift. It was a departure for GM Ryan Poles. Until then, he’d played it relatively cheap at the position with one-year deals and late round picks. While nobody disputed Swift was a talented player, they couldn’t understand the urgency of signing him. Matt Eberflus finally provided some clarity.

While the Bears have had solid success running the ball over the past two years, they felt the overall unit was too one-dimensional. David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, and D’Onta Foreman were pure runners, not legitimate threats in the passing game. Eberflus felt Swift offered that extra dimension.

“Just a weapon back. You know we really needed that guy that can really operate on third down and even on first or second down and be a weapon in the deep part of the field and the short part of the field and take it the distance. And he’s got a lot of gas…

…D’Andre’s looked really good during this offseason. Obviously as you guys know he’s really quick, he’s a weapon out of the backfield, which is outstanding for our passing game and it’s going to create some mismatches for us. He can do a lot of things from the backfield, we can split him out wide and run the full route tree, so he’s exciting to watch.”

Swift has 195 catches for 1,412 yards and eight touchdowns across four seasons in the league. Philadelphia didn’t utilize him as much in that department last year, but Detroit always exploited that ability.

Matt Eberflus knows the value of a good back on 3rd down.

For example, Alvin Kamara is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL. Last season, he caught 18 passes on 3rd and 4th down. He converted eight of them into 1st downs. Swift caught 13 passes on 3rd down in 2022 for Detroit. He converted four into 1st downs and two into touchdowns. People constantly underestimate how valuable a capable receiving back is to an offense. Bears fans should understand this better than most. They saw what Matt Forte did for years during his run with the franchise.

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Swift isn’t Forte, but he is a good player who brings a lot to the Bears’ offense. He can be that three-down back who never has to leave the field. Such versatility will give Matt Eberflus and the coaches plenty of ideas on how to make life difficult for opposing defenses. Philadelphia managed to do it last year despite serious issues with their coaching staff. There is no reason to think Shane Waldron can’t get plenty out of such a skill set, especially with D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Rome Odunze, and Cole Kmet demanding so much attention.

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TGena
TGena
Jun 4, 2024 6:24 pm

@Dr. Melhus — Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley signed with the Eagles, after D’Andre Swift signed with the Bears. The Barkley deal was reported as a three-year, $37.75 million contract with $26 million in guaranteed money — the Swift pact as $24.5 million for 3 years with $15.3 million guaranteed. But as Dave Zangaro has reported on the Barkley deal: “. . .But now we have all the details: • This deal incudes a signing bonus of $11.625 million • The full guarantee in this contract is $26 million • Barkley has base salaries of $1.375 million in 2024, $11… Read more »

Dr. Melhus
Jun 4, 2024 2:54 pm

: I can explain why Howie Roseman (Eagles GM) would let D’Andre Swift go so easily in two words:

Saquon Barkley

The Bears were able to sign a very good back because he was replaced by a slightly better back. Of course, this is all subject to scheme, OL, coaching, etc., too.

TGena
TGena
Jun 3, 2024 12:18 pm

@jmscooby–

I hope so, Scoob.

But, GM, Howie Roseman doesn’t usually let really good players leave Philadelphia as easily as he did with D’Andre Swift.

jmscooby
Jun 3, 2024 11:42 am

If he stays healthy, TGena, he’s going to the Pro Bowl. Write that down.

TGena
TGena
Jun 3, 2024 8:24 am

Hey Erik — I sure hope this Swift guy plays better against the rest of the league than he did versus the Bears, in his career with the Lions. Except for Game #17 of the 2022 season, D’Andre Swift didn’t do much in his 5 games against the Bears: Attempts: 31 Yards: 108 Avg: 3.5 TD: 3 Fumbles: 1 Targets: 19 Catches: 15 Yards: 102 Drops: 2 First Downs: 6 2020 Game #1 @ DET 3/8 yds 2.7 avg. 1 TD (rush) 3 of 5 passes for 15 yds., 2 drops 1 first down(s) 2021 Game #4 @ CHI 8/16… Read more »

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