New Bears Coach Has Strong Message: ‘Maybe You Need to Go to a Different Team’

Matt Eberflus

Getty Bears head coach Matt Eberflus will likely be asked about the arrest of LB Matt Adams when he speaks to the media in late July.

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus isn’t messing around.

In an interview with Adam Hoge of CHGO Sports, Eberflus discussed his H.I.T.S. principle, which is the philosophy he will be attempting to instill in his new team. H.I.T.S. is an acronym that stands for: Hustle, Intensity, Takeaways and (playing) Situationally smart football.

New Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams explained how the team plans on utilizing this philosophy, which Eberflus also implemented in his four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

“When you talk about a standard and meeting that standard and then being able to look at the film and grade that standard and holding guys to the standard, the H.I.T.S. philosophy is a great way of being able to measure it,” Williams told Bears senior writer Larry Mayer. “So, with the hustle, the intensity, the takeaways and playing smart, we have a way of being able to gauge ourselves from one game to another or one season to another in terms of, ‘Are we improving or are we falling short?'”

Hoge asked the Bears head coach about what may happen if players on the team are cavalier about the new philosophy, and Eberflus had some telling comments.

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Eberflus Throws Down the Gauntlet

When Hoge asked if it was fair to wonder if some players may not buy into the new system he’s implementing, Eberflus got candid:

Yeah, I mean, we’ve done this now three times so it’s not like we haven’t done it before. This is the first time doing it with an entire football team, but we know it works. We know what the standards are. We have the coaches that have already bought into it that are going to implement the system player by player. And certainly, it’s not for everybody. It just isn’t. I said it (at the Combine), really two things: Do guys love football? They’ll show that on tape. And are they willing to work hard? And are they willing to stretch themselves to a new boundary they haven’t taken themselves to before? And if you have that, it will all work out. Certainly there will be guys that don’t buy into it. That’s OK. It’s not for everybody. Maybe you need to go to a different team.

Maybe you need to go to a different team. That’s a strong statement. Clearly, change is coming for the Bears.

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Eberflus Encouraging Openness With His Players

The Bears were the 12th-most penalized team in the NFL last year under former head coach Matt Nagy, who was often criticized for his undisciplined squads. Eberflus plans to change that through hard work and open, honest communication.

“That’s one of the most important things that Ryan and I are doing. And how you do that is you enable guys to have a voice and they’re able to speak their mind on a player and you listen,” Eberflus told Mayer on March 3.

“A lot of times leadership doesn’t let you do that,” he continued. “You start to voice your opinion and then all of a sudden they shut you down with a comment or whatever. We’ve all been a part of that. But we do not want that. We want the guys to be able to voice their opinions, feel like their voice is being heard, and it will be. We value their opinion.”

It’s clear Eberflus wants to listen to his players, but it’s equally clear he’s going to push them. Time will tell whether he’s successful or not.

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