Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles says that he spoke to head coach Matt Eberflus about his usage of defensive end Montez Sweat following last week’s loss to the Detroit Lions.
During an interview on ESPN 1000, Poles revealed that he had a conversation with the coach about Sweat and the team’s other impact players, emphasizing that they needed to be on the field in key situations.
“My big thing is just in critical moments having players on the field that can impact the game. We’ve had conversations about that,” he said.
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According to Pro Football Focus, Sweat was on the field for 39 snaps for the Bears against the Lions. That number represents 63% of the team’s total defensive snaps in the game.
Yannick Ngakoue was on the field for 45 snaps in the game, while DeMarcus Walker was on the field for 38 snaps.
Sweat’s usage in third down and red zone situations was also limited, as he was out on the field for nine of the 18 total snaps in those spots. Finally, he was on the field for 12-of-17 snaps on the Lions’ final two drives of the game as they stormed back and beat the Bears with a pair of late touchdowns.
After the game, Eberflus addressed criticism of his deployment of Sweat, and said he hopes to increase the snap count as the season goes on.
“You certainly want to see that rise,” he said. “You always want to see that rise, and it’s been rising.”
By way of comparison, Lions star Aidan Hutchinson played 92% of the team’s defensive snaps in the game, and made the key play in the fourth quarter as he sacked Justin Fields, forcing a fumble and icing the game for Detroit.