Bears season preview: Eberflus on the loose
There will be plenty of time in the years ahead to talk about stadium designs and public funding.
- What about the team currently on the field?
What's happening: The Bears start a new chapter (Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers) with a new GM and head coach after a 6-11 finish last year.
- Coach Matt Eberflus has a big job in front of him. Here's how he could improve over former coach Matt Nagy:
Halftime adjustments: The last coaching staff was historically awful in the third quarter, setting all-time lows for points scored. If Eberflus fixes that, in no time he'll be a major celebrity, maybe even doing local car commercials.
Penalties: The 2021 Bears were undisciplined. There were frequent holding and false starts on offense and too many unsportsmanlike flags on defense.
Challenges/clock management: Nagy frustrated fans by burning timeouts and throwing unnecessary challenge flags. Eberflus has to fix this.
💭 Justin's thought bubble: Look, there are going to be growing pains, but watch the rookies. Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon and Velus Jones Jr. could have a big impact Sunday. And Cole Kmet — it's your time, kid.
- Fans aren't looking for a playoff team. We just don't want to be embarrassed anymore.
Bonus take: Our friends over at Axios San Francisco gave us what to watch for in Week 1: "Our quarterback situation. Second-year QB Trey Lance will make the start, but after a shaky training camp and preseason, all eyes will be on how he performs Sunday."
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