Saturday, May 4, 2024

Matt Eberflus Is Using Draft To Fuel Rivalry Between Coordinators


Matt Eberflus is a competitor. He wants to win. That has been evident in his mindset since high school as a linebacker. Teammates were often taken aback by how serious he was. So it isn’t a surprise he views competition as a healthy thing. It can make people better at what they do. Not just the Chicago Bears players but also their coaches. While the end goal for Eberflus is to guide this organization to success, he seems to think some friendly tension between assistants isn’t a bad thing.

Barely months into his time at Halas Hall, the head coach has found some creative ways to keep his new coordinators, Luke Getsy and Alan Williams, on their toes. He revealed one of them to the Bears media during his Thursday press conference. The question asked was whether he was looking forward to the draft and whether he was one of those “stand on a table” guys for specific prospects. Eberflus smiled and said this instead.

Aside from being a fun prank, it is clear what such a tactic is meant to accomplish.

Eberflus wants his assistant coaches to take player acquisition seriously. He wants them involved in the evaluation process and constantly working to improve their units. If that means putting forth passionate arguments for particular talents, then do so. By making it seem like the guy on the other side of the ball is actively working against the other, all the better. Getsy and Williams will be going head-to-head every day in practice for weeks, months, and maybe years to come.

The quickest way to get a leg up on one another is to secure the best talent possible. Creating an arms race between the two should only help Ryan Poles and his scouting department in their efforts to improve the roster. At the same time, Eberflus is helping to prepare both men for the eventuality they might become head coaches too. They’ll want to have a firm command of the draft process in such a case.

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Matt Eberflus figures to do the same with his players.

Pitting the offense against the defense is hardly something new for NFL teams. It is a natural byproduct of the game. The trick for Eberflus will be fostering the environment without letting things get out of control. If any sort of bad feelings or bitterness develops between the two sides, it can lead to counterproductive results for the team. That was what happened in the end for Matt Nagy.

The big challenge for Matt Eberflus is solving the puzzle that is the Bears offense. That unit has routinely underachieved for the past 30 years or more. They’ve had maybe two genuinely good seasons in that time in 1995 and 2013. No team is winning championships with that kind of ineptitude.

Being a defensive guy, Eberflus faces plenty of skepticism.

Not that is bothers him. He knew the job would come with pressure. He welcomes it. He feels he has a plan and is working to execute it. Getsy and Williams are there to help him. His goal is to ensure they’re doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. If that means creating some friendly draft debates along the way, so much the better.

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