Eberflus and Kmet on Chicago’s offensive additions

Eberflus and Kmet on Chicago’s offensive additions

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - A lot has changed on Chicago’s offense. But, one thing that will not change is tight end Cole Kmet playing for the Bears. Last July, he signed a four-year, $50 million contract to ensure he is with the Bears through the 2027 season.

Kmet explained that he liked what he saw in Chicago, where the team was headed and knew he wanted to be a part of it.

“After being around (general manager) Ryan (Poles) the past couple of years and seeing the direction that this is headed and the way coach has operated in the locker room and in team meetings, you could see the vision of where it was going, and I was really excited about it, and I’ve been here everyday,” Kmet said. “So, I see what’s going on. I know the direction it’s going and I’m excited for what’s to come, so I’m glad to be here.”

Kmet was drafted by Chicago in 2020. Oddly, for such a young player who has not been with the team too long, he and cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who just received a lucrative contract, have the most experience playing with the Bears out of anyone currently on the roster. Especially since Poles took over as general manager and Matt Eberflus as head coach, there has been a lot of change in the roster.

However, that change has created a bond between Kmet and Johnson, as they are the only two players to survive it.

“It’s strange, and it’s different, but I’ve gotten used to playing with a lot of different players, a lot of different teammates, and I have enjoyed it, and me and (cornerback) Jaylon (Johnson) do have a special bond because we kind of came in together and we’ve seen it through with each other,” Kmet said.

One addition this offseason that will help Kmet stay with Chicago even longer and maximize his time there is learning from new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.

His scheme entails having two pass-catching tight ends, which is why the Bears acquired tight end Gerald Everett in the offseason.

“He really schemes it out for your skill set, so I’m excited to get in camp and show him what I can do and what everyone else can do and how we can formulate the best offense possible this season,” Kmet said. “So, he’s done a really good job of mixing and matching a lot of different guys in the offense and being inclusive with the run game as well.”

Eberflus chose to go with an offensive coordinator he did not personally know, an unusual strategy in a profession where knowing the right people can be highly influential in getting a job. Poles knew Eberflus before they both worked for the Bears.

Besides his tape and the respect Eberflus has for Waldron’s skill when watching the tape, perhaps part of the strategy was acquiring a coordinator who would have more exposure to PAC-12 teams, like USC, where rookie quarterback Caleb Williams was selected No. 1 overall, and the University of Washington, where receiver Rome Odunze was selected No. 9 overall.

“(Williams’) been awesome. He’s all about football. I would say, we all know he can spin it and it’s exciting to get through this process with him and again, there’s no shortcuts. There’s no easy way. You got to go through the steps, and we’re excited about getting that started,” Eberflus said. “When he’s with the guys, he’s really funny and has a really good way about him, and he’s got ease in his own skin, and I think that he’s going to be really good in the locker room.”

With the No. 9 overall pick, some wondered why the Bears did not select an edge rusher, given that every defensive player was available.

However, Eberflus explained they wanted to choose the best player available at that spot. Further, boosting the receiving room with a rookie quarterback is always a smart idea, especially when building for the future, as Odunze is a receiver Williams will be able to throw to perhaps their entire careers.

“We were going to take the best player there and we felt that Rome was that. There’s nothing wrong with having more talent,” Eberflus said. “So, when you can distribute the ball to the talent, they can make things happen, they get a short pass and take it a long way and conversions on third and fourth down.”

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