Fox analyst Daryl ‘Moose’ Johnston says Bears coach Matt Eberflus will surprise people

Eberflus’ emphasis on learning how to manage games has impressed Johnston, who will call the 49ers-Bears game Sunday with Joe Davis and Pam Oliver.

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Daryl Johnston played fullback for the Cowboys from 1989 to ’99, winning three Super Bowls.

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Fox analyst Daryl “Moose” Johnston already is impressed with Bears coach Matt Eberflus.

“He’s spending time early in the process learning the situational components that a head coach has to know,” Johnston said. “If coaches struggle with situational football and the last two [minutes] and the last five, it seems like they got off on unsure footing and they never seem to be able to catch up.

“[Eberflus says], I’m going to be really good at this component because I don’t want to lose a game because of bad decisions I’ve made situationally, clock management, challenges, all the little things that go along with that. So I thought the emphasis that he put on that was very impressive.”

Johnston will see firsthand what Eberflus has learned Sunday, when Johnston joins Joe Davis and sideline reporter Pam Oliver on Fox’ broadcast of the 49ers-Bears game. The trio form Fox’ new No. 2 team, with Davis permanently moving over from college football and Johnston moving up a few rungs.

The spots opened when Joe Buck and Troy Aikman left to call ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and Fox promoted Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen. Johnston, who’s beginning his 21st season with Fox, has worked with Davis a few times. His list of partners is a who’s-who of Fox broadcasting: Dick Stockton, Kenny Albert, Chris Myers, Brandon Gaudin, Burkhardt and Davis. He has worked well with each.

“Fox allows us to build relationships within your group,” Johnston said. “It comes across on the broadcast if the people are transcending more than just a working relationship. That’s important to me. One of the cool things is, [Davis’] dad’s a spotter, which to me is really cool to see a father and son working in the NFL.”

Johnston played fullback in the NFL for the Cowboys from 1989 to ’99, winning three Super Bowls. He has been around enough coaches to know he likes what he sees in Eberflus.

“I’ve watched so many coaches go back and chase that knowledge from a situational standpoint and never seem to get where they want to,” Johnston said. “And they’re good coaches, and they have the moniker that they’re not good game managers. So I was really impressed that he put that much emphasis on that. I think he’s going to be a surprise coach.”

Remote patrol

  • Former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt will join NBC Sports Chicago’s Bears postgame show “Football Aftershow,” which makes its season debut Sunday. Host David Kaplan returns with analysts Lance Briggs and Alex Brown. Wannstedt replaces Olin Kreutz.
  • Season 6 of George Ofman’s podcast “Tell Me a Story I Don’t Know” is underway. Episodes include interviews with Greg Gumbel, Ron Rivera, new Sun-Times columnist Laurence Holmes and more.
  • EPIX begins the second season of its “NFL Icons” docuseries at 9 p.m. Saturday with John Madden. Next up is Bears great Walter Payton, whose episode will air at 9 p.m. Sept. 17.

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