Bears News: Eberflus: “We might bring in some other guys”

Bears News: Eberflus: “We might bring in some other guys”

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - After all of the additions the Bears made in the offseason, head coach Matt Eberflus explains that Chicago is looking at potentially adding more players.

Specifically, they seem to be looking at pass rushers to improve the defensive line after a measly 20 sacks last season.

“We brought some guys in, you know, we might bring in some other guys,” Eberflus said. “We obviously brought some d-tackles in and all that. So, we’ll find out where the green rush is, you know, our pass rush team and the passing situations. We’ll put our best four out there. We’ll probably have two more guys that rotate in that rush group. But, it’s just all about competition now.”

However, Eberflus’s comments also made it sound like the Bears are looking at more than just defensive weapons. Last season was a dismal season for Chicago, with the worst passing offense in the NFL and the offensive line allowing the fourth-most sacks out of any team with 58.

While a lot of pieces were added already, perhaps they are looking at doing more before the beginning of the regular season.

“We’re interested in a lot of free agents," Ebeflus said. "We’re interested in a lot of guys at all positions right now,” Eberflus explained. “So, we’re just excited about being able to look at those guys and potentially add as we go through camp and, you know, getting closer to the season.”

On the offensive side of the ball, one can’t help but wonder if this has anything to do with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who the Arizona Cardinals released on May 26. The Clemson product played for the Cardinals for three years, spending his first seven seasons with the Houston Texans. His blockbuster trade to the Cardinals, which included two first-round picks, helped set the wide receiver market in the years that followed.

Many seem to think this is unlikely, particularly given the addition of receiver DJ Moore during the trade that sent the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers. With Moore, quarterback Justin Fields now has an elite receiver to throw to so that he can continue to improve and progress further.

Regarding Fields, Eberflus had a lot of positive things to say about his off-season effort.

“No one’s worked harder than (Fields) in this offseason, starting in February," Eberflus said."You know, he’s been working on his own, studying different quarterbacks, and really understanding what he needed to improve on,” Eberflus argued. “You can see him going through his reads quicker, reading the coverages on the snap and processing where to go with the football. And again, we’ve been working (on) his footwork and his release, and he’s been doing a great job with all those things, and we’re excited where he is right now.”

His threat as a rusher is something that really contributed to his progression last season. In his rookie season under former head coach Matt Nagy, he ran for 420 yards on 72 attempts. Conversely, under Eberflus, he ran for 1,143 yards on 160, leading the NFL in yards per rushing attempt at 7.1. Fields received a share of the MVP for his rushing performance.

Thus, it brings the question of how the run game will look in the upcoming season with more pieces to the puzzle. Ideally, Fields will not have to run as much as last year but will still run the ball.

“I think having our halfbacks that we have, we feel confident about those guys," Eberflus said. "We feel good about our offensive line, what we’ve done there in terms of run-blocking,” Eberflus explained. “In terms of the run game, run it when we need it and when we’re down in the red zone. Third down, we might need it. At that point, during those critical points in the game, that’s what (quarterback Justin Fields) is going to do.”

Fields took a lot of hits because of running the ball but also because of the poor play by the offensive line. That is a problem general manager Ryan Poles and the Bears set out to fix with additions such as free agent signee guard Nate Davis and first-round pick offensive lineman Darnell Wright. But, they do have a solid veteran who will be returning in Cody Whitehair.

“Cody, first of all, is just a great human being," Eberflus said. "He’s just a great young man, a great family guy. We love having him around. He’s always positive, always energetic,” Eberflus said. “He brings it every day to practice, which is great for the young guys to see that. He’s a true professional. So, ups or downs, highs or lows, he’s always going to be the same guy in the building every single day. So, we really appreciate that from him.”

Fans will have to wait for the regular season to start on Sunday, September 10, against the Green Bay Packers to get a true look at this new team and offensive line. The final roster cut is also on Wednesday, August 30, so a lot will happen to the roster in between now and then.

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