Eberflus told reporters Monday at Halas Hall that he looked at the tape Sunday night and Monday morning and challenged each player to improve on their details in order for the team to improve. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Eberflus’ thoughts Monday.
On quarterback Justin Fields being close
Eberflus has been supportive of Fields during the team’s 0-3 start to the season and continued to believe in his starting quarterback once again. According to Eberflus, Fields is close to putting everything together after Sunday’s loss.
“Now we just need to see the fruits of the labor,” Eberflus said. “He just needs to keep doing the things, the platform, the rhythm and timing, the things that we’ve been discussing.”
The Bears made sure to let Fields run more and not stay stationary in the pocket a week after Fields said he needed to play more freely. Fields made a few plays with his feet when there was no one to throw to early, but the Bears still failed to score until the fourth quarter when Fields hit D.J. Moore for a touchdown to make it a 41-10 Chiefs lead.
Fields threw for 99 yards and made some impressive throws down the sideline that his receivers couldn’t catch. Eberflus wants Fields to keep working as he’s close to breaking through.
“I think we’re real close,” Eberflus said. “I know a lot of people say we’re so far away, I don’t believe that. I think we’re close. It’s more about the details of the individual person, and if we just keep doing that right, right things are going to happen.”
On linebackers Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards finishing
The Bears’ top defensive acquisitions over the summer have struggled to finish plays and create turnovers through three games this season.
Edmunds signed a four-year, $72 million deal while Edwards signed a three-year, $19.5 million deal, but neither has created a turnover yet. Edwards leads the team in tackles with 43 while Edmunds has 31.
Eberflus believes both players are doing the right things, they just need to finish.
“Just keep playing the defense,” Eberflus said when asked what they need to do to finish. “They’re right there, they’re right in position where they need to be. Those guys have been making a lot of plays.”
The Bears have forced three fumbles this season but recovered none of them. They also intercepted their first two passes of the season against the Chiefs when Jack Sanborn and Quindell Johnson each picked off backup Blaine Gabbert.
“Now we just need to see the fruits of the labor. [Fields] just needs to keep doing the things, the platform, the rhythm and timing, the things that we’ve been discussing.”— Matt Eberflus, Bears head coach
Eberflus said he wants Edmunds and Edwards to focus on stripping the ball when they tackle and stay true to what they’ve worked on all offseason.
“We built these relationships together during this offseason just for this,” Eberflus said. “No one said it was going to be easy, no one said that. This is a difficult time. How do we get through that? By leaning on each other and focusing on the improvement of the individual man and the position groups.”
On turning around 0-3 start
Eberflus said he’s confident this season’s team can turn around from an 0-3 start because he’s been part of other teams who’ve done it.
He noted how the 2018 Indianapolis Colts regrouped from a 1-5 start when he was the defensive coordinator for the team. The Colts went on to win nine of their next 10 games and won their Wild Card game against the Houston Texans before losing in the next round to the Chiefs.
“We just have to have belief,” Eberflus said. “You need to have belief in each other, belief in the coaches, belief in the players, belief in the man sitting next to you, the work we put on every single day.”
That’s why Eberflus challenged his players to focus on the details Monday. While details have been something the coaching staff have preached all season, Eberflus felt it was important to emphasize it after the franchise lost its 13th straight game dating back to last season.
“All of a sudden, if you keep doing right,” Eberflus said, “you keep your head down and focus on what matters, good things happen.”