The Chicago Bears have hired Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their latest head coach. How does this impact Justin Fields?
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chicago Bears will be hiring Colts’ Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus as the team’s next Head Coach. It marks the first official football move for newly hired General Manager Ryan Poles, who was hired two days ago from the Kansas City Chiefs front office.
As of just last night, it seemed as though current Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was the favorite for the job. It was noted that Quinn had a prior relationship with Poles through Matt Ryan who played quarterback at Boston College the same time Poles played offensive line.
Eberflus had been named a finalist among Jim Caldwell and Quinn earlier this week, but his name seemed to fade out in favor of the more seasoned coaches, something ownership and consultant Bill Polian favored during this coaching cycle.
There’s no doubt this hire is going to be split right down the middle in terms of Bears fans’ reaction. They’re either going to love it or they’re going to hate it.
What you can’t hate, however, is a proven track record. Eberflus’s defensive units in Indianapolis have ranked in the Top-10 in takeaways all four years he was in charge. They ranked Top-10 in scoring three out of the four years he was in charge and ranked Top-5 in DVOA against the run three out of the four years.
The Colts’ record during the four-year span Eberflus ran the defense was an impressive 37-28, despite constant questions at the quarterback position in a division that’s seen the Titans load up with premier offensive talent.
It will be interesting to see how Eberflus chooses to implement his Tampa-2 4-3 scheme into a defense that’s been building up with 3-4 talent the last seven years. How will those changes impact players like Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith, and Eddie Jackson?
Quinn and Mack would seemingly have the easiest transition moving back to a 4-3 scheme. Both have previous experience in the scheme, with Quinn playing the majority of his career with his hand in the dirt and achieving high-level success.
Eberflus takes over the Chicago Bears after an up-and-down four-year stretch under Matt Nagy that saw them make the playoffs twice, despite abysmal performances on the offensive side of the ball. The first order of business for Poles and Eberflus is to hire an offensive coordinator that is going to elevate second-year quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields struggled in 2021 with injuries and inconsistencies along the offensive line but was most hampered by the inability to stretch the ball downfield due to Matt Nagy and Bill Lazor’s schemes.
One would have to imagine developing Justin Fields was of utmost importance during interviews of potential head coaches, and apparently, Eberflus’ plan seems to have won out.
Time will tell if this hire was the right move, just four years ago the Chicago Bears ironically hired a Ryan and a Matt to lead their team into the next generation, and here we are yet again with the same names tasked with the same mission: Bring a Super Bowl to Chicago.