By CJ Carlson
The Chicago Bears haven’t been a very consistent franchise lately, and normally that falls upon the shoulders of the head coach. That’s a bit different in this scenario. Chicago fans were all expecting the team to move on from head coach Matt Eberflus the second that their season ended, yet it didn’t go that way. Instead, Chicago said that they will be retaining Eberflus for another season.
The Bears still fired a number of other coaches on the staff, but Eberflus will be staying after reportedly holding long and extensive meetings with upper management. Most Chicago fans are more surprised at their decision due to the coaching talent currently available. For example, there’s a possibility that Jim Harbaugh will return to the NFL, Mike Vrabel was fired, Bill Belichick might leave New England, and Ben Johnson is the hottest name on the market.
Eberflus doesn’t exactly have a great record with the team since joining as their head coach. However, there was a very strong stretch of football being played late in this season. Chicago won five of their last eight games, doubling their win output in his previous season as the head coach. Their defense in particular really seemed to step it up when they needed it the most, and Eberflus was reportedly instrumental in making that happen. This is likely what convinced the franchise to hold onto him for another season.
The Chicago Bears Could Feel That The Issues Lie Elsewhere
Then again, Chicago could also be well aware that the quarterback position might not be figured out yet. Yes, there’s still confusion on what this team will do in the next few months regarding that issue. Justin Fields looks like he’s the franchise cornerstone sometimes, then goes out and has an underwhelming week of football right afterwards.
Chicago holding onto the number one overall pick in the draft doesn’t help Fields chances of staying as the starter, but you could assume that the team would want a new head coach to go with that new quarterback if that were the case.
On top of that, this team might feel like it was the positional coaches that let Eberflus and Fields down. I mean, they did just move on from both of their coordinators this season, with each position open for the taking. They fired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy the other day, and defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned following an off the field incident.
Eberflus is likely to hold onto defensive play calling duties, but another hiring at the defensive coordinator spot is going to happen anyways. As for the offensive coordinator role, if they can bring in a talented mind on that end of the field to help Justin, then they could completely turn this group around in 2024.
Finding A New Coordinator Is The First True Step
Eberflus was asked about finding a new offensive coordinator, to which he said, “We’re looking forward to looking at, talking to and hiring a new offensive coordinator that’s going to improve our team. That’s going to do a great job at improving and being aggressive and doing the things that it takes to win football games.” With Getsy as the offensive coordinator, Chicago spent 2022 as the 28th ranked total offense, and the 20th ranked total offense the following season in 2023.
Even with that improvement, they were 27th in passing offense anyways during this past year. Clearly, changes had to be made, and it’s noticeable that this will be Eberflus’ last chance to right the ship.