3 things we heard from the Chicago Bears, including a new hire for the coaching staff and the latest on Nate Davis’ injury – Boston Herald
Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus spoke with reporters Monday at Halas Hall to recap his team’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Along with Eberflus declaring quarterback Justin Fields doubtful to play Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders because of a thumb injury, here are three other things we learned.
1. The Bears hired Phil Snow as a senior defensive analyst.
Snow, who has coached in college and the NFL since 1979, will do advance scouting of opponents for the defensive coaching staff. Eberflus said Snow will present his reports to coaches on Mondays and Tuesdays but will not coach on game days.
Snow was the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator under coach Matt Rhule the last three seasons until the Panthers fired him in October 2022 after Rhule was fired. Snow coached linebackers for the Detroit Lions from 2005-08.
He was a college defensive coordinator most recently at Baylor and also at Temple, Eastern Michigan, Washington, UCLA, Arizona State and Boise State.
Eberflus said he connected with Snow through Rod Marinelli, who is a mentor to Eberflus, many years ago at the NFL scouting combine. He said Snow has experience in a similar system to Eberflus’ scheme but also has a wide range of experience.
“He’s a great person,” Eberflus said. “He’s very humble. He works well with others. He gives sound advice and he’s done a good job where he’s been in terms of having good defenses.”
Eberflus said after the Week 5 game against the Washington Commanders that he planned to hire an analyst to help his staff. The Bears didn’t hire anyone to replace defensive coordinator Alan Williams after he resigned in Week 3, nor did they promote a new coordinator from within, opting to have Eberflus take over defensive play calling.
2. Right guard Nate Davis and cornerback Terell Smith will miss some time.
Eberflus said Davis suffered a high ankle sprain on the Bears’ second drive when safety Josh Metellus took down Fields as he made a quick pass to Khari Blasingame. Metellus pushed Fields into Davis’ leg, and Davis had to be helped off the field.
The Bears used second-year pro Ja’Tyre Carter in place of Davis. Carter started two games at right guard earlier this season as Davis grieved the death of his mother.
Eberflus ruled out Davis for Sunday, and Smith also won’t play as he deals with a case of mononucleosis. Smith missed the Vikings game, and Eberflus said he could be out three or four weeks.
Smith started two games in place of Jaylon Johnson, who returned to the lineup against the Vikings from a hamstring injury.
Eberflus did not have an update on left tackle Braxton Jones, who is on injured reserve with a neck injury. Jones has missed the requisite four games to be brought back off IR.
3. Matt Eberflus said the Bears’ protection issues came down to ‘executing in the moment.’
The Vikings had five sacks — one of which Fields was hurt on — and eight quarterback hits. That pressure helped create three Bears turnovers.
“The guys were prepared,” Eberflus said. “I just think we needed to do a better job of executing in the moment. We knew that they were going to give us a bunch of different looks, and we needed to make the right calls at the line of scrimmage.”
Eberflus explained a couple of plays, including the first of the game in which D.J. Wonnum came unblocked off the left edge and sacked Fields. Eberflus said Fields was supposed to float to his right and make a quick throw to Blasingame or DJ Moore, though Danielle Hunter was trying to get past right tackle Darnell Wright to Fields’ right.
Eberflus said Fields also should have gotten rid of the ball quicker on the play in which he was injured.
Fields’ interception came with Hunter in his face after running back D’Onta Foreman ended up blocking Hunter one on one while Wright was engaged with Metellus on the outside. Fields’ pass floated into the arms of linebacker Jordan Hicks.
“We always want to be able to, for the most part, have our bigs block the bigs and then our backs block the perimeter players,” Eberflus said. “And that’s what happened on that one.”
The Bears made a switch at center late in the game, having Lucas Patrick replace Cody Whitehair.
Eberflus pointed to Patrick’s experience at center as the reason for the decision. Whitehair, an eight-year NFL veteran, was the Bears starting center in past seasons but had been playing left guard this season while Teven Jenkins was out.
He moved to center midway through the Commanders game when Patrick went into concussion protocol. Whitehair had some bad snaps Sunday, though Eberflus denied after the game that played a part in the switch.
“Lucas came in because we wanted to settle (backup quarterback) Tyson (Bagent) down, and it was good to do that,” Eberflus said. “I think it really did settle him down a little bit. Again, (Patrick has) more experience.”
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