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Bears’ Matt Eberflus on his early days as head coach: ‘It’s always special when you do something for the first time’


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The Chicago Bears are trying to get out of their own misery.

Last year’s 6-11 season was pretty disappointing, especially since they didn’t have a first-round pick of their own, so the Bears reshuffled just about everything they could.

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Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus takes on the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason game at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 13, 2022.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

They’ve brought in a new general manager in Ryan Poles, who was the Kansas City Chiefs’ executive director of player personnel last year. He brought in Matt Eberflus, who had been the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive coordinator since 2018.

This is Eberflus’ first head coaching gig, and while the Bears aren’t on anyone’s radar, the 52-year-old is going to take it all in next Sunday.

“It’s always special when you do something for the first time, you call a defense in the NFL for the first time, or when I called it in college a long time ago when, or when you walk into a new role as head football coach,” Eberflus said on Monday.

Eberflus has had many setbacks over a long career – his career began when he was a student assistant at the University of Toledo in 1992, and he wasn’t on the NFL coaching staff until until the Cleveland Browns hired him as a linebackers coach in 2009.

Bears’ Matt Eberflus on his early days as head coach: ‘It’s always special when you do something for the first time’

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus walks on the sidelines during the preseason game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland on August 27, 2022.
(AP Photo/David Dermer)

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“It’s part of the journey,” he said. “It’s part of your story that you write, that you help write with everyone who helps you. And you certainly think about it as you go.”

It’s been tough in Chicago — they’ve only made the playoffs twice since the 2010 season, and they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1985.

But with the new front office and coaching staff, they drafted Justin Fields at No. 11 last year, a quarterback they believe can take them to the promised land.

Third-year wide receiver Darnell Mooney is looking to take another step forward, and second-year tight end Cole Kmet is also hoping for a breakout season. David Montgomery has also been one of the most productive running backs since entering the league in 2019.

Bears’ Matt Eberflus on his early days as head coach: ‘It’s always special when you do something for the first time’

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus takes on the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason game at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 13, 2022.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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The Bears open the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers, who were one win away from winning their second Super Bowl in three seasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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