When a minor fight broke out at minicamp last week, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus took the opportunity to make it clear what won’t be tolerated.
Eberflus, overseeing practices for the first time since being hired four months ago, said players aren’t going to get away with fighting teammates in Chicago.
“Well, the bottom line is this, you have to work together to practice. This is Bears on Bears, and we’re not going to tolerate that here at the Bears,” Eberflus said, via NBCSportsChicago.com. “So that’s a simple message. I have no problem delivering that message to anybody, so they understand that. And because it’s — what happens is during the course of football, OK, there are things that happen against your opponent you’re playing, whatever. Opponent A, B, or C doesn’t matter. You have to have emotional control during the course of the game. It’s got to be a boxer’s mentality because you can’t go let your anger get to you because why? Then you’ll foul, right? You’ll make a stupid thing after the play, and now it’s hurting our football team and hurting our chances to win.
“So that to me is what we have to learn, all of us, during the course of training camp. And then even back in this part of this, it was very small, it was a couple shoves, and then that was it, it was no big deal. But again, I sent the message after the practice and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to make sure, you know that was real small, but that can escalate into something during a game where it’s going to cause a penalty. We don’t want that.'”
Eberflus comes from a Colts team that had the fewest penalties called against it in the NFL last season. Avoiding penalties is going to be a point of emphasis for him with the Bears.