Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Matt Eberfluss shares his plan for leading the winning Chicago Bears team by instilling high intensity and commitment and building a motivated coaching staff.

Matt eberfluss shares his plan for leading the winning chicago bears team by instilling high intensity and commitment and building a motivated coaching staff.

After an hour-long introduction as the Chicago Bears’ 17th head coach, Matt Eberfluss had just sat down for a series of small group interviews in the Halas Hall media room on Monday when he stopped to check his phone.

There were a few moments of silence as he digested what was on the small screen.

“I have a lot of balls in the air,” Eberfluss said, explaining that he has important hirings for defensive and special team coordinators, as well as offensive and defensive line coaches ahead of him.

Eberflus spent 17 years as a college coach before starting his 13-year NFL coaching career in Cleveland, Dallas and Indianapolis. So he believes college recruiting experience will help him in the days ahead as he joins his coaching staff after hiring his first employee, offensive coordinator Luke Getsey, over the weekend.

“Oh, it’s easy to sell,” he said. “Chicago bears? Light. And then you sell working relationships like you give guys their room and support them like a head football coach.”

Opening press conferences in the NFL are usually about presenting the media and fans with a vision of what’s in store for the team. And Eberflux’s presentation on Monday, when he was introduced to new general manager Ryan Poles, was that he would bring high intensity and responsibility to help change a Bears team that had only one winning season in four under his predecessor Matt Nagy.

He delivered some key news.

  • His defensive coordinator will assign a defensive play so that Eberflux can focus on managing the team as a whole.
  • The defense will move from a 3-4 base to a 4-3 – this is the third time he’s been involved in such a transition – although he noted that the Bears will “adapt, move and be flexible” depending on the players they have. .
  • And he didn’t give specific assessments to current Bears players, including quarterback Justin Fields, just saying he’s happy to dive into Fields’ development plan.

More time was spent explaining broader philosophies. Eberfluss is the type of manager who can set out in detail the principles of what he expects from his players and staff.

In his opening monologue, he mentioned his HITS principle, which he had previously detailed over four seasons as the Colts’ defensive coordinator. The principles are fuss, intensity, taking care of the ball and hitting the ball, and being able to act situationally.

Asked about the challenges an aspiring head coach faces, he talked about finding assistants who model, inspire, challenge and encourage.

Later, in an interview with a small group, he listed the three qualities he believes a good coach needs: positivity, attention to detail, and an edge.

“It’s a winning edge,” he said. “This is how you carry yourself, your focus, your intensity.

For Eberflux, who played linebacker in college in Toledo, intensity is innate and a key part of his performance.

“Superintense, only from this height,” Eberflux said, raising his hand just above the floor. “But over the years I have learned to use it for good. Intensity can be a bad thing, so I’ve learned to bring it into kindness.

“Therefore, I am very persistent, but I am also very kind and compassionate towards others. So I want to be able to work with others and work with coaches to get them to a point where they couldn’t work in partnership with a coach.”

Until such principles lead to victory, skepticism is bound to linger, and Eberflux already faced questions on Monday about how he plans to attract players and whether some of his methods might not be useful.

But Eberfluss had already sold out to one key person: the Poles.

Powles said he was drawn to the Colts’ defense under Eberflux, who played fast and furiously, finishing in the top 10 in several categories over the years, including 33 take-outs and 21.5 points per game in 2021.

Pouls first spoke to Eberflux a few years ago to better understand who he was as a coach and person, and included him on his list of potential head coaches to introduce to the teams he interviewed.

Eberflus originally interviewed the Bears search committee via Zoom before the Poles were on board. When Eberfluss was selected for a personal interview, he spent a few minutes with chairman George McCaskey and then sat in a room for five or more hours with the Poles, who had been hired the day before.

Powles said he knew right away that Eberfluss was his boyfriend.

“That was his standard,” Powles said. “He had high standards for what he wanted from the team and he had a plan to raise the bar in terms of who we were going to be. His passion for the game, his discipline are some of the key ingredients that keep the team moving in the right direction. And then connections with really good staff. It was important. And a plan that was not only short-term, but also long-term.

“When you know you have one, you have one. And I’m the kind of guy that when I have that conviction, it’s time to go. That’s how everything fell into place.”

Now, Eberfluss has focused his attention on matching his ideal coaching staff to Ghetsy, whom he described as tough, innovative, intelligent and a team player.

Eberflux has had numerous coaching mentors over the years—in his opening monologue, he credited Gary Pinkel, Rod Marinelli, Nick Saban, and his high school coach, Pat Gucciardo—for helping him understand how best to manage his staff.

“You give them space,” he said. “You give them workspace. You don’t hover over them. You hire good people and then let them do their job.”

There is a lot of work to be done in the coming days.

World Nation News Desk
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