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Chalk Talk: What set Eberflus apart from others?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

What do you think set Matt Eberflus apart from the other candidates who were vying for the Bears' head-coaching job?
Steve C.
Waukegan, Illinois

According to new Bears general manager Ryan Poles, it was Matt Eberflus' passion and discipline that gave him the edge over the other candidates for the position. Here's what Poles told reporters when asked how he knew he wanted to hire Eberflus as Bears coach: "It was his standard. He had a high standard for what he wanted out of a team, and he had a plan to raise the bar in terms of what we were going to become. His passion for the game, his discipline, those are some of the key ingredients to get a team off the ground and headed in the right direction. And then connections to a really good staff as well. That was important. And a plan that just wasn't short term, but there was long term thought into it as well."

Do you think new Bears general manager Ryan Poles will try to acquire more picks in this year's draft by trading some players on the current team? I believe that the Bears only have five picks in the draft, right?
Edward W.
Genoa, Illinois

First, you are correct that the Bears have five selections in this year's draft: They have their own picks in Rounds 2, 3, 5 and 6 and an additional fifth-rounder they obtained from the Texans in exchange for receiver Anthony Miller. They traded their first- and fourth-round choices to the Giants last April to move up nine spots to select quarterback Justin Fields at No. 11 overall. In terms of making trades to acquire more picks this year, I'm sure that Ryan Poles will consider all options and do what he thinks is best for the organization. He's not going to make a trade to acquire more picks if he doesn't feel there's value in the deal for the Bears. Here's what Poles recently told reporters about the possibility of acquiring more picks: "There's always options to get more draft picks, but we have to get together and see what that looks like. That comes in different forms and fashions. But at the end of the day, we have what we have and we're going to do the absolute best to maximize those draft picks. And if that means [utilizing only] the original draft picks that we have or finding ways to get more, we'll do that."

With a new regime taking over this year, do you see the Bears starting a rebuild or actually contending for a playoff spot?
Walt L.

Ryan Poles has a lot of work ahead of him, but his expectation is for the Bears to be competitive right away. During his introductory press conference, he pointed to the Bengals as an example of a team that rebounded from a losing season to reach the Super Bowl. Said Poles: "Yeah, absolutely I think we can be competitive, and the beautiful thing about football is what we just saw with the Bengals. Once the Super Bowl is played, everyone goes back to 0-0 and has the ability to improve their roster [and] make changes. We all know it's fluid on a yearly basis, so we're going to attack it. Our goal is always going to be in contention and win games."

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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