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Chicago Bears rank 10th in NFLPA players survey, with high marks for facilities and low marks for food

The Chicago Bears ranked 10th among 32 teams in the NFL Players Association’s 2024 report cards, which provide a glimpse into player evaluations of off-the-field working conditions.

The report cards, now in their second year, were compiled from an anonymous survey of 1,706 NFL players who were asked to evaluate 11 categories: treatment of families, food and cafeteria, nutritionist/dietician, locker room, training room, training staff, weight room, strength coaches, team travel, head coach and ownership.

“This is kind of shining a mirror and saying, ‘This is what the workplace looks like to a player,’ ” NFLPA President JC Tretter said at the NFL scouting combine, where the report cards were released Wednesday. “When you have to come to grips with that and look in the mirror and realize this is what you’re providing for your players, I think it’s a moment to make some changes.”

The Bears ranked highest for their facilities at Halas Hall, of which the Bears completed a renovation and expansion project in 2019. Their locker room received the fourth-highest grade, and their weight room and training rooms ranked sixth. Such ratings are based on if players feel they have enough space, the proper equipment and enough training staff.

The food and cafeteria remained one of the Bears’ lowest grades for the second year, receiving a C, which ranked 21st. The report said Bears players wanted healthier options in their food choices and how it was prepared. Their nutritionist/dietician was ranked 24th.

“Multiple players do not feel like the offerings maximize the players’ performance,” the report said.

Head coach ratings, new this year, were based on if players felt their coaches were efficient with their time and were willing to take feedback and collaborate with players — not in-game coaching and successes. Matt Eberflus was given a B, ranked 25th, as 81% of players felt he was efficient with their time. Players felt he was “somewhat willing to listen to the locker room.”

Bears ownership was ranked 13th for its willingness to invest in team facilities.

The Bears made a significant improvement from last year in how players felt their families were treated, moving from 22nd to 11th in rankings. In the last season, the Bears instituted a game-day day care program for players’ children and also provided a separate family tent for training camp.

The Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers received the top three overall rankings in the report cards.

The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs were ranked 31st, mostly due to team facilities and what is perceived to be ownership’s unwillingness to invest and follow through on promises to upgrade. Coach Andy Reid, however, ranked first.

“I think it’s always uncomfortable getting graded,” Tretter said. “Minnesota very much enjoyed being No. 1 last year, and they did plenty of pushing of the results. The teams that score well enjoy it. It’s never fun being graded poorly. But we saw teams make significant changes, so I think they took it to heart. They’re never going to come out publicly and say, ‘We did it because we were graded by the NFLPA.’ We understand that. We’re not looking for credit. But I think it made a difference. I think players felt it made a difference.”