No person in the organization will have as much influence on how coach Matt Eberflus’ does than quarterback Justin Fields. But linebacker Roquan Smith is next on the list.
As Eberflus lays the groundwork for the Bears defense this offseason, Smith isn’t just some guy. He’s the guy. Eberflus needs him as a partner, not just another player.
Fortunately for Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams, Smith is eager to form that relationship. The Bears are starting something new, and Smith is passionate about spearheading it.
“That’s a heck of an opportunity to have,” he said Wednesday. “Resetting things and starting over fresh — new faces, new regime — it’s a great opportunity to be the face of the new regime and doing whatever it takes to make this the best regime in Bears history. That’s my plan.”
Speaking of plans, Smith intends to see that through to the end. While his contract runs out at the end of this season and he has been dodgy on that subject at every turn over the past year, all indications are that he and the Bears will finalize something that keeps him around.
General manager Ryan Poles said last month he wants to do a deal before this season begins, and Smith envisions being a Bear for the long term.
“Absolutely, yeah,” Smith said. “That’s my plan.”