Sep 9, 2022 - Sports

Bears season preview: Eberflus on the loose

Photo of a coach wearing a headseat at a football game.
New Bears head coach Matt Eberflus. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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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