Needless to say, Matthew Adams spoke to Bears general manager Ryan Poles after an incident in Chicago in June when he was charged with possession of firearms and violating a city ordinance by possessing metal-piercing cartridges was charged.
“Yeah, we had a conversation afterwards,” Adams confirmed.
“We pretty much just talked about it. He challenged me to cover the ground that we lost,” Adams added.
Whether he makes up for his slip off the field, the team keeps to themselves.
On the field, Adams has only had a disappointing start. It’s a good thing because he’s the player assigned to replace Roquan Smith during the so-called “hold-in”. He’s part of their experienced depth and even a starter.
If and when Smith returns, Adams would be a starting strong linebacker and would have a little less than half the downs on the field.
“Every day I go out and just compete,” Adams said. “You know what I mean? Just bring the team together and make sure we’re all on the same page.”
He can do that because he was on defense in Indianapolis under Matt Eberflus.
“Obviously I came here because I believe in the culture and his scheme of coach Flus and I just work hard,” said Adams.
Adams said this belief in Eberflus made the move to Chicago natural.
“I believe in hard work,” Adams said. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I just know what kind of guy he is, he’s very trusting and I believe in him.”
Adams was not a starter with the Colts, making just nine starts in his four seasons, not since 2019.
“Pretty much the first four seasons were development work,” Adams said. “Just learning the system in and out and being a great teammate. We had great linebackers in that room. We had a lot of depth.”
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His main role was backing up Darius Leonard, so obviously they had great linebackers.
As someone who has played in the system, Adams has been involved in teaching teammates how the coach’s HITS style works.
“It was fun,” Adams said. “You can’t really trust anyone unless you’re going through something with someone.
The system, the standard are now the same for Eberflus as for the Colts.
“I wouldn’t say they were any different than what we had,” Adams said. “The standard hasn’t changed, we’re still running to the ball, hitting the ball, tapping no matter how fast the practice is.
“At the end of the day, the standard is the standard and we have to face it, whether it’s hot, cold, sunny or snowing.”
Smith’s hold-in has now lasted 10 days of practice and the Bears are off Monday after their closed indoor practice on Sunday due to storms in the area. They drive to Soldier Field for the annual family reunion on Tuesday with no sign of a contract for Smith.
Matthews doubts it will be long before Smith is ready when the contract comes, if that is the case. At least mentally, that makes sense because Smith has been working defense all offseason at voluntary OTAs and minicamps and mandatory minicamps. The physical condition will be the question.
“Roquan, he’s been in the building, he’s been to meetings and reviewing plays,” Adams said. “So the only thing that doesn’t see him on the field is that’s the only difference.”
Adams and backup Joe Thomas’ playing time could eventually pay off regardless of Smith’s status.
“I think it’s real to represent the other guys because in this day and age,” said defense coordinator Alan Williams. “There were times when because of COVID guys were out and the next one had to get up and you couldn’t say, ‘Hey, we didn’t play well because of…’ That’s no excuse.
“You have to play well no matter who you have. The NFL is a tough league. It’s a physical league. The guys are going to be down and that’s why the next guy has to be able to come in and not be the guy he’s replacing. But he has to come in and we still have to play winning football and we still have to execute, still have to know your task. We still want to play well.
With Adams on the roster and experience already replacing Smith, the Bears need to think they’re at least three deep in a position that requires three players who can start.
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