Of course the Bears should let ‘Hard Knocks’ cameras into Halas Hall

Martinis are being shaken at the bar. Make mine dirty with Titos and blue cheese olives. Servers are hustling throughout the open concept dining room. It’s upscale without being uppity.

I’d suggest either the crispy lobster with shishito peppers or the colossal black tiger shrimp for an appetizer.

Then the 8-ounce filet with sides of roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and the truffle parm fries.

Welcome to Sophia Steak Lake Forest. The place Ryan Poles set the table for Caleb Williams and other current members of the Bears roster to vibe for a night. It was part of the final steps before Williams to the Bears becomes fait accompli.

The conversation in a private room between Williams and the current players reportedly flowed effortlessly and went well.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

The Bears’ first dinner with Williams in Los Angeles before his pro day, as reported by Peter Schrager of NFL Network, was at the private club the Bird Streets. One website recently ranked it the third-most exclusive club in the world. Can you imagine Matt Eberflus with his new look sitting at the table next to Jamie Foxx?

If we only could get cameras and microphones to record these events.

The truth is we can and we should. Or at least the NFL can and the Bears should welcome the opportunity.

The league is once again looking for a team to feature during training camp for its HBO series Hard Knocks. And right now, there’s no hotter story than the Chicago Bears.

George McCaskey has publicly made it known that he wants nothing to do with the behind-the-scenes documentary. Others in the organization have told me privately that the Bears have a wink/wink deal with the league as the charter franchise. For example, the Bears are willing to give up a home game to play in London this year or play an extra preseason game in Canton, as long as the league doesn’t force them into Hard Knocks.

That’s a shame.

Think about all the juicy story lines:

• Caleb Williams gets acclimated to life in the NFL. Everyone has discussed what he is really like inside the locker room and away from the field. Is he humble? Does he embrace the pressure of being the first truly great Bears quarterback? How will his development go from Day One on the practice field to the film room. Show us the much talked about inner circle including his Dad, Carl Williams.

• Keenan Allen moves to Chicago. He has played his entire professional career in either sunny San Diego or Los Angeles after playing collegiately at Cal. How does his transition go after playing 11 seasons for one team? Let’s go home shopping with Allen and see how he takes his rookie quarterback under his wing. And imagine if the Bears take Rome Odunze at No. 9 as well. The dynamic between the rookie wide receiver and future Hall of Fame receiver would be intriguing.

• I mentioned Matt Eberflus’ off-season makeover earlier. I need to see who is behind this new Renaissance man. What prompted the change? Does he have a closet full of Jordans? Is he now driving a red Corvette convertible to training camp? And from a coaching perspective, what is it about it him that Poles and the players love? Show that side of him.

• Let’s go behind the scenes with Kevin Warren as he continues to design and finalize a new domed stadium for the Bears. Nothing like holding some politicians’ feet to the fire while putting them on blast on HBO.

• New Bears defensive back Jonathan Owens used to play for the Packers, but crossing the cheddar curtain isn’t the interesting part. His wife is U.S. Olympic icon Simone Biles. I need a day in their life as a sporting family. How does he deal with her fame? We need this. America needs this.

• Share with the world the incredible story of Steve “Mongo” McMichael as he finally goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and have Devin Hester explain his journey as he is inducted as well. The Bears have more players in the Hall of Fame than any team in the NFL. Have Hester weave around the museum like he’s dodging special teams’ tackles.

• I haven’t even mentioned the Bears’ charismatic secondary, respected stars DJ Moore and Montez Sweat, and underdog QB story Tyson Bagent and his arm wrestling father.

The Bears have gone from bad and boring to one of the most interesting and up-and-coming teams in the NFL. And with the team always bringing high ratings to any national broadcast, these storylines would lead to the most watched Hard Knocks in years.

I know what you’re thinking, what about the distractions? There were no Hard Knocks cameras last year and the Bears began 0-4 and were outscored in those games 137-75. They haven’t beaten the Packers once in the past 10 meetings.

No cameras over the past five years either.

The old closed-minded, buttoned-up ways of the past haven’t worked. Embrace being the story and it could help motivate this team even more.

The Lions didn’t run from it in 2022 and it began their resurgence.

Think about how Poles operates. He’s pretty transparent. When the Bears were trading the No. 1 overall pick a year ago, he announced he would do that in front of microphones at the combine. It led to one of the best deals in Bears history.

When everyone thought he was going to fire Eberflus, Poles didn’t hide the fact that he loved his coach and thought he was doing a good job, foreshadowing that he would keep him.

When he knew he was going to trade Justin Fields, Poles told the world he wanted “to do right by Justin.” So what do you have to hide from some cameras? Be true to who you are, and right now the Bears shouldn’t mind sharing who that is.

Bring in the Hard Knocks cameras, because the hard times are over, Bears fans.

• Marc Silverman shares his opinions on the Bears weekly for Shaw Local. Tune in and listen to the “Waddle & Silvy” show weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 1000.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.