Chicago Bears ready to embrace ‘Hard Knocks’ cameras this summer | The National Sport

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears already figured they had a lot of eyes on them. There will also be a few more rooms now.

The Bears are poised to welcome the “Hard Knocks” film crew this summer after HBO and the NFL selected the founding franchise to be featured in the training camp documentary for the first time.

“It shows we’ve got something brewing here,” linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said Friday. “Everybody wants to see what happens.”

Coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears are “excited about it” and won’t act any differently with the HBO team around.

Chairman George McCaskey held out for a long time for the Bears to participate. But with everything going on, now sure seems like a good time.

There are certainly plenty of stories to tell after the Bears made some huge moves in the offseason. Most notable, of course, were the draft of quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 after trading Justin Fields and acquiring six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers. Chicago also drafted Rome Odunze from Washington, giving the team a deep group of receivers to go along with the returning DJ Moore and signed running back D’Andre Swift.

But it’s not just the roster changes.

The Bears are trying to secure financing to help build an indoor lakefront stadium near Soldier Field after turning their attention from land they purchased in suburban Arlington Heights. Chicago will also have a large presence in the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, with Devin Hester, Steve McMichael and Julius Peppers part of this year’s class.

More than anything, the Bears believe they are ready to turn a corner. That’s quite a turnaround after going 10-24 in their first two seasons under coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles.

“We have a good thing here,” Eberflus said. “We have a good brotherhood, a good mentality. You’ve obviously heard about our culture and how close we are as a group. This was shown at the end of last year. This has been shown through adversity and it will be shown again. this year.”

Eberflus is no stranger to “Hard Knocks.” He was Indianapolis’ defensive coordinator in 2021 when the Colts became the first team to be featured in the regular season.

“I had a positive attitude about it,” Eberflus said. “We know we had really good people in the building and our message was going to be who we are and how we operate. Nobody changes the way they act, nobody changes what they do, we just focus on our work and they’ll have special interest stories that they do, which I think some of them are really good. And we have a lot of them here in our building, so I’m excited to see that.”

Swift was with Detroit when the Lions were introduced in 2022. He took issue with how his relationship with quarterbacks coach Duke Staley was portrayed. A scene where he was challenged to fight for extra yards might have made viewers question his toughness.

“They just tried to present a different narrative than what it was in terms of my relationship with Coach Staley,” he said. “But it was a great experience. I’ll put it this way.”

Having extra cameras could be a distraction, especially if the Bears try to crack a rookie quarterback. Then again, Williams is no stranger to the spotlight. USC’s 2022 Heisman Trophy winner has been in the public eye for years.

“He’s comfortable in his own skin, he knows who he is,” Eberflus said.


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