Chicago Bears veterans arrived at Halas Hall this week to take part in the (voluntary) Offseason Training Activities.
What was new coach Matt Eberflus looking for in his first session with the vets? “I’m looking for a lot of things. There’s a lot of things that we as coaches look at. You look at, number one, the physical side of it, the athletic skill, the traits, the body control. Because you have to have great body control in this environment. You have no pads on. You have a helmet. You gotta do a great job of staying on your feet, knowing how to operate. So body control, it shows athleticism. I think that’s a big part of what we look at.”
Jaylon Johnson: “From my rookie year to my second year, I felt like I was more of myself, mentally and physical. Finding out who I am and really redefining myself each and every day and recommitting to being a better me. Not rally worrying about all the external factors.”
On JJ: Yeah, so Jaylon you know as a young player, is still a work in progress. He’s got some things he’s got to work on just like all the rest of those guys that are second and third-year players, they’ve all got to work on stuff. Just keep working and we’ll see where he goes.
The progress of Justin Fields was also brought up. “I’ve seen Justin develop day to day, just keep getting better and keep learning the system and now he’s starting to take control. In terms of getting guys lined up, helping guys after the play, you need to do this way, you need to do it that way, and he does it in a good way. You know, the number one thing, one of the things we talked the first day is respect. We have to respect each other. So you have to be able to look each other in the eye and tell the truth. You’ve got to be able to do that and that’s what he does and do it in a respectful way and a challenging way, we’re going to get to better, and that’s what he’s done and he’s going to continue to do that.”
I felt at home here. I like what coach Eberflus told me. I like the direction of the club. It’s a good opportunity to be with Justin.– Trevor Siemian, on why he chose to sign with the Bears.
Trevor Siemian also talked about Justin – There’s nothing like game experiences for a young player. It’s not always great your first time playing. It’s fun to see Justin get the hang of the system, talk balk and go back and forth with Luke (Getsy) as we’re starting up now, that’s part of practice to say, ‘what did you see out there?’ There are certain nuances in the system. We’re growing through it together.
Offensive lineman Lucas Patrick came to the Bears along with offensive coordinator Getsy. “Every day get better, and compete and get tough. So fired up that our GM is a former offensive lineman, because I think he gets it to the core what it takes to build and offensive line. And it’s tough competition. Smart, guys who love football and just want to compete. I think it’s great. Bring thirty guys in. We can only have five and it’s only gonna push guys further. It’s gonna push me further. I’m gonna push other guys further. I can’t think of a better scenario, even for me as a veteran, having so many young guys that they see different things, or they’re asking me questions. So I have to be even more on top of my game, and what I know mentally.”
The best comment from Eberflus was when he was asked about choosing captains. “I haven’t decided the philosophy in terms of picking those captains,” he said in his most animated tone all day. “But in terms of answering your question, is, yes. I’ve been watching that since day one because the leadership on a football team is the number one priority you have to establish. It starts with the coaches but what’s more important is the leadership in the locker room. So we’re doing a good job right now with the coaches. I have a conversation with those guys all the time. I love to observe people.Being a good leader is about action. It’s about doing the things that you need to do and execution on the football field first. A lot of those guys are rising to the top. I let it happen organically, just by observing it. I set the parameters and the standards of a football team, how they operate, and the guys that operate in that certainly can be themselves, no question about it. But the cream will rise to the top. It always does. My 30th year as a coach and I’ve seen it every single year. It will rise to the top. You hold guys to the standard. What will happen is, oh, there’s one, there’s one, there’s one and there’s one. You want one at every position group,you really do. Or two. We’re working to get that and we’ll see where it goes. But again, it’s an ongoing day-to-day evaluation.”