Prior to Monday's introductory press conference at Halas Hall, new Bears coach Matt Eberflus spoke exclusively with ChicagoBears.com senior writer Larry Mayer. Here's a transcript of that conversation:
LM: Congratulations on being named the Bears' new head coach. What excites you most about the opportunity?
ME: "It's a long time coming. I've been coaching 30 years. So, now, partnering with [new general manager] Ryan [Poles], I get to [create] a vision for our football team. What is that vision? The vision is a team that's going to play extremely hard, going to be extremely intense and that's going to take care of the football and take the ball away, and then be smart players. We want to be smart in terms of penalties, smart in terms of situations. That to me is what the vision is for our football team. And it's A to Z. it's acquiring players, it's coaching the coaches, it's selection of players and then developing those players. So, to me, it's all encompassing. I've been waiting a long time to do this, and it's really exciting."
LM: What's the key to establishing your imprint on the defense?
ME: "This is going to be the third time that I've had an opportunity to switch a defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3, so I'm very familiar with doing it. But it's more about the habits that we're going to entrench into our players and how we measure those habits, and it's really habits for victory. That's what we're going to do with the players, and it's going to be fun."
LM: How would you characterize your plan to develop quarterback Justin Fields?
"It's not just Justin, it's really the plan to develop our whole football team. We'll have a plan for every player, what he needs to do. The biggest thing is acquiring the staff so we can get those plans into place because we have to watch tape from last year and previous years, where guys are strong, what they need to improve on, and that's no different than the quarterback. So, Justin's going to do the same thing. We'll give them three things that they can improve until we see them in April, and then once we get them in April, we'll continue that development as we go."
LM: What led you to hire Luke Getsy as offensive coordinator?
ME: "He's smart, innovative, tough, energetic, passionate, loves the game. He's going to fit right in here with the Chicago Bears, with the rest of the staff. I'm excited to see him grow and develop as a play-caller and as an offensive coordinator."
LM: How will you assist Getsy and the offensive staff?
ME: "I've had great examples of that. I've coached 30 years, and 28 of those years have been with offensive head coaches, so I've learned from the other side how those guys have helped me, and I'm going to do nothing but the same. Be supportive. I'm going to help with ideas when I feel it's appropriate and I'm going to let them do their job."