Eberflus and Poles outlined the Bears' new identity


The Chicago Bears began a new era with the introduction of general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus on Monday. 

But in reality, it's already begun with both making hires to their respective staffs over the weekend.

One of the big knocks on the Bears of recent years has been the lack of an identity. On the Football Aftershow, former players Olin Kreutz, Alex Brown and Lance Briggs constantly hit on the lack of identity for this Bears team.

Right off the bat, both men outlined what this new-look Bears' identity will be from their respective positions.

Poles spoke first, outlining how the team would be built and constructed.

"We're going to build through the draft. We're going to acquire young, fast and physical football players," Poles said. "We're going to be selective in free agency and we're going to connect evaluation with valuation.

"We're going to have a relentless approach to fix our weakness. We're going to maintain great sovereign self-awareness of who we are. We're going to solve problems with open communication and candor.

"And we're going to consistently put players in position to succeed."

The last point is something the previous regime came under fire for. They seemed more intent on forcing an offensive system on the players instead of building an offensive system that highlighted the players' strengths.

During the 2020 season, with the Bears offense struggling, previous head coach Matt Nagy handed over play-calling to Bill Lazor. There was an immediate and obvious shift in play-calling toward then-quarterback Mitch Trubisky's strength and the Bears won several games with an average of 30-plus points to secure a playoff berth.

Eberflus' vision for what that team looks like on field aligns with Poles', which would make sense since he was hired to execute Poles' vision.

"We will play at a high tempo, high effort, attacking physical style, built upon speed, quickness and explosive athletic ability, Eberflus said. "We will carry ourselves with an attitude of energy, passion and intensity. We will play with maximum effort on every play.

"And my next piece of advice for the players for sure is get your track shoes on because we're runner."

Maximum effort could be an area for the Bears to improve. Twice over the course of the season, as notably pointed out by Bears chairman George McCaskey in his press conference explaining why he decided to part ways with former head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace, a Bears defender didn't touch a downed opponent to end a play.

Eberflus outlined a bit of the process in how to build this identity, based upon "foundational pieces." And in an acronym, HITS.

"In this first year, we want to build this foundation of what we're going to look like," Eberflus said. "Of what Chicago fans, alumni can be proud of.

"And the foundational pieces are hustle effort. We're going to be an effort based team. OK, that's the number one piece."

Accountability has also been a big talking point when it comes to the Bears team and the way a new front office regime would be structured, Eberflus addressed that when it comes to the players.

"We're going to have measurable ways for standards of performance that are going to be detailed," Eberflys said. "Every single rep, every single practice, every single game. It's going to be an effort based team."

Hustle for the H.

The I stands for intensity.

"We will play with maximum intensity," Eberflus said. "That's focus, mental focus and intensity, but also physical focus and intensity. The toughness we're talking about for the Chicago Bears. It's a hitting, physical style. Offense, defense, kicking."

The T stands for taking care of the ball and taking the ball away. Fans of Hard Knocks that watched the Colts' in-season series will remember Eberflus giving hawks shirts to players who got turnovers.

"That's the most important thing for winning and losing is taking the ball away and protecting the football," Eberflus said.

And lastly, the S is for smart situationally.

That means no stupid penalties, which the Bears endured several off. From offsides calls to punching opponents, in different games. Eberflus also said it meant situational awareness in the game, down, time, etc...

It's at least refreshing to have a clear outline for what the team is striving to be.

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