Cubs News: Eberflus: “We’re doing a lot of good things in a lot of areas”
David Reginek - USA Today Sports

Cubs News: Eberflus: “We’re doing a lot of good things in a lot of areas”


by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - Since Matt Eberflus became the head coach of the Chicago Bears, the Bears have been 0-9 against the NFC North. Despite yet another fourth quarter collapse and another division defeat against the Detroit Lions this past Sunday, Eberflus states that he sees a lot of positives in the team’s overall performance.

“We’re (doing) a lot of good things in a lot of areas of the football game - to start the game, the run offense (and) defense, the third down offense (and) defense has been good at times,” Eberflus said. “The situations have been good at times and it has not been perfect, of course, but it’s been improving. It’s been better, and the guys see that and feel that, and you can see that in our games too.”

One factor expected to help improve the defensive side of the ball was the trade for edge rusher Montez Sweat. However, against Detroit, Sweat came in and out of the game. In fact, throughout his career, he has not played more than 70% of the defensive snaps.

Endurance has been a frequent issue, one Eberflus, and the Bears hope to resolve with him in Chicago.

“You always want your best players playing more in the critical moments,” Eberflus said. “Certainly, when you look at that, we want that and going forward, we’re going to obviously want more and more out of that. So, you always want that.”

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was on a snap count in this game coming back from his knee injury. This gave linebacker Jack Sanborn more snaps in the game. Edmunds is an elite linebacker, so there was some concern about the dropoff between the two.

However, according to Eberflus, Sanborn has been playing very well and the Bears are not concerned about having him in the game.

“We feel great about Sanborn. Sanborn’s been playing great football,” Eberflus said. “He’s making a lot of plays on the football and he’s a good player.”

The game against Detroit also marked the return of running back Khalil Herbert from injured reserve (IR). While he had 16 rushing attempts, he only tallied 35 yards, barely averaging two yards per carry. Particularly with how back D’Onta Foreman has been playing, there are questions about Herbert and how involved he will be.

Eberflus does not seem to have any concerns.

“Khalil’s going to be fine. He’s going to be in there and he’s going to get the looks he (needs) and he’s going to come back with great strength this week and certainly Khalil wants to play better there and again, he’s going to be great,” Eberflus said. “He’s a real good runner for us and he’s made some big splash plays for us and he’s going to continue to do that.”

With how the Bears have been playing last season and so far this season, there are a lot of questions about whether Eberflus will be the head coach next season. While this does not seem probable, he does not seem to be concerned as questions regarding job security are a natural part of being an NFL head coach.

“I can see progress and I told the players in the meeting, we can show them that. We can show them real, tangible progress and, like I said, it’s our charge to take that next step,” Eberflus said. “In terms of the (job) pressure thing, that’s the NFL, right? It’s a week-to-week league and the story of the world is every single week. So, that’s the way it goes and that’s where you’re at and that’s the life we live. I’ve been living it for a long time. So, that’s the way it goes.”

When Chicago played the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the season, the Vikings defense was able to hold the Bears to 13 points, the second-lowest amount of the season. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores is known throughout the NFL to bring a lot of pressure, something quarterback Justin Fields has been known to have problems with.

Fields did not even play the whole game, as that is when he suffered his thumb injury, but was sacked four times.

“He does a really good job of mixing up the coverage, the spots that are open on the field, and that creates a lot of pressure for every offense and you can certainly feel that as you go through watching the games and watching the cut-ups,” Eberflus said. “But, our guys have played them before. So, I think our guys will have a good understanding of what we’re going to attack and how we’re going to operate for this game.”

In the rematch against the Vikings on Monday Night Football (7:15 p.m./ABC and ESPN), Fields will need to avoid the pressure of the Minnesota defense while the Chicago defense will need to adjust to quarterback Joshua Dobbs who was not even with the Vikings when these teams played each other earlier in the season.

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