Bears Insider

Eberflus creating connection with Bears greats


LOS ANGELES — The well documented divide between Chicago Bears alumni and the organization has been growing in recent years, but it sounds like new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is taking some small steps to do something about it. 

Speaking with NBC Sports Chicago ahead of Super Bowl LVI Friday, Bears Hall of Fame left tackle Jimbo Covert said he has already heard from Eberflus, who was hired just 15 days ago. 

“Matt sent me a text, which I think was really classy,” Covert said. “Just introducing himself and saying, you're welcome here any time. And you know, that's really the first time I ever got that from any other coach.”

Covert was appreciative of the text and immediately responded. He plans on visiting Halas Hall in the spring. 

“I thought it was a really classy move and I thought it was just saying, ‘Hey, you know, you're part of the history here and we want to include you in that,’” Covert said. 

Some might roll their eyes at the idea of a current coach reaching out to a 1985 Bear, but as the team continues to lose, there’s been a growing frustration from former players who think they can help turn things around.

The most recent — and most egregious example — was the revelation that the Bears only offered former Bears center Olin Kreutz $15/hour to help as a consultant for the offensive line in 2018. 

When asked about it, Bears chairman George McCaskey made a mess of the situation, challenging Kreutz’s credibility. 

“That’s the way it is sometimes with Olin. You don’t get the whole story. Olin knows (what) the story is,” McCaskey said.

Kreutz immediately responded by saying former offensive line coach Harry Heistand and former general manager Ryan Pace corroborated the story and confirmed the offer. Regardless, the entire exchange provided a startling example of the growing divide between Bears ownership and some players.

From Covert’s perspective, he’d like to see a closer connection between current and former players. And considering he was wearing a gold jacket Friday in Los Angeles, why would the Bears not want a Pro Football Hall of Famer adding his perspective to help the current roster?

“That's important. And I think sometimes, with some of these coaches, that got forgotten and that's just a bad thing,” he said. 

It’s important to note that Covert still has a good relationship with the team and has been to Halas Hall and events like the Bears 100 celebration in recent years. But it’s the significance of Eberflus reaching out to him so soon that stuck out to him. 

“When I first got to the Bears, I really took that history seriously,” he said. “I would see Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus and guys who played in the 60s and 70s and got a chance to meet them and talk to them, introduce myself to them. That was important for me. I just don't see that nowadays. And I think that's the thing that needs to come back is the history of the franchise.”

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