Chicago Bears are ready to embrace ‘Hard Knocks’ cameras this summer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears already figured to have plenty of eyes on them. There’ll be a few more cameras now, too.

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

“It shows that we got something brewing here,” linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said Friday. “Everybody wants to see what’s going on.”

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

Chairman George McCaskey long resisted having the Bears participate. But with everything they have 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. The most notable, of course, were drafting quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick after trading Justin Fields and acquiring six-time Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers. Chicago also drafted Washington’s Rome Odunze, giving the team a deep group of wide receivers to go with the returning DJ Moore, and signed running back D’Andre Swift.

But it’s not just the changes to the roster.

The Bears are trying to secure funding to help build an enclosed stadium on the lakefront next to Soldier Field after turning their attention away from a tract of land they purchased in suburban Arlington Heights. Chicago will also have a big presence at 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 poised to turn a corner. It’s quite a change after going a combined 10-24 in their first two seasons under coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles.

“We have a good thing going here,” Eberflus said. “We’ve got a good brotherhood, a good mindset. Obviously, you guys have heard about our culture and how tight we are as a group. That showed at the end of last year. That showed through adversity, and that’s gonna show 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 during the regular season.

“We had a real 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. No one changes how they act, no one changes what they do, we just focus on our job and they’re going to 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 featured in 2022. He took issue with the way his relationship with running backs coach Duce Staley was presented. A scene where he was challenged to fight for extra yards might have led viewers to question his toughness.

“They just tried to portray a different narrative than what it was as far as my relationship with Coach Staley,” he said. “But it was a cool experience. I’ll say it like that.”

Having the extra cameras could be a distraction, particularly with the Bears trying to break in a rookie quarterback. Then again, Williams is no stranger to the spotlight. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner from USC 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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