15 Most Impactful Bears of 2022: No. 3 Matt Eberflus
The Chicago Bears wrapped their 2022 season, where they finished 3-14 and lost their final 10 games of the year. But the future is bright heading into this 2023 offseason, as GM Ryan Poles has the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, a boatload of salary cap space ($118 million) and a franchise quarterback in Justin Fields.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be counting down our 15 Most Impactful Bears for the 2022 season. We’ll recap their 2022 season and look ahead to how they factor into 2023.
Next up at No. 3 is head coach Matt Eberflus, who
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Position: Head coach
Experience: 1st year
2022 cap hit: N/A
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Matt Eberflus inherited a less-than-ideal situation in his first year as head coach. GM Ryan Poles tore the roster down to kickstart a rebuild, which didn’t leave Eberflus with much to work with. And yet, Eberflus got the most out of a young and inexperienced roster that also lost two key defenders in Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn ahead of the trade deadline. Eberflus set clear standards and expectations, including his infamous H.I.T.S. principle. Say what you want, the H.I.T.S. principle wasn’t always pretty (especially with this roster), but the culture he established was exactly what this team needed.
Aside from Week 17’s brutal 41-10 loss to the Lions, you can’t say Eberflus’ squad didn’t compete. Even when they lost key contributors to injury and had practice squad players starting, the Bears kept things close for most of the year. They kept competing, kept battling back and gave some of the league’s top teams a fight. Eight of Chicago’s losses were by one score, and you could argue they should’ve had more wins. (Thankfully they don’t, because they wouldn’t have landed the No. 1 pick). But it’s got to be all uphill from here, right?
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When you look at what Eberflus got out of a weak 2022 roster, you can’t help but wonder what this team could look like with more talent. And that’s the expectation this season, as GM Ryan Poles has the resources — including more than $100 million in salary cap space and the No. 1 pick in the draft — to address a good number of holes. With that said, everything can’t be fixed in a single offseason.
Still, the Bears should be in contention for a playoff seed, and the expectation should be nothing less. Look at what teams like the Jaguars, who went from worst to wild-card playoff winners in the span of one offseason, and the Giants, who overachieved, accomplished. That’s not to say Chicago should be contending for the Super Bowl next season. But given they have a franchise quarterback in Justin Fields and resources to build a better roster around him, the Bears need to be playing meaningful football in late December.
15 Most Impactful Bears of 2022
We’re counting down our 15 Most Impactful Bears of 2022. Check back every day.
3. HC Matt Eberflus
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1. COMING 1/30