Bear Necessities: Matt Eberflus has appreciation for former Bears HC Lovie Smith

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When the Chicago Bears host the Houston Texans on Sunday, it’ll mark Lovie Smith’s return to Soldier Field.

Now, it won’t be his first since his nine-year stint as the Bears’ head coach (that came back in 2014 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). But Smith’s return to Chicago will certainly have some fans feeling nostalgic.

In nine seasons with Chicago, Smith led the Bears to a 84-66 record, which included three playoff appearances and a Super Bowl appearance in 2006.

Eberflus is familiar with Smith and there’s an appreciation for what Smith has accomplished over the years.

“I know Lovie as an acquaintance,” Eberflus said. “We certainly would talk if we see each other face-to-face and we have done that. Just appreciation for what he has done for the game of football. He’s had his units playing the right way, has respected the game the right way, and the accomplishments he’s had. He’s been a head coach for a long time and he’s been steady that way and really good. I just appreciate that from him. And what kind of man he is, too, just from hearing from coach Rod and everybody else, coach Dungy, all of the guys I have contact with more, just what they say about him.”

It’s hard not to notice the parallels between Eberflus and Smith, including the similar defensive systems they run. Bears fans are surely hoping Eberflus goes on to have similar success that Smith had in Chicago, including most notably a Super Bowl appearance and some dominant defenses.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire