The Chicago Bears are hiring Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their new head coach, and a familiar trend has re-occurred.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us introduce you to the new general manager and head coach of the Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles, and Matt Eberflus. After hiring a Kansas City personnel department member as GM, the Windy City has tapped the defensive coordinator in the Hoosier state as their new leader.
Ryan and Matt. Where have we seen this before? Oh, wait, the same names as the previous two leaders in Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. Coincidence. Maybe? Also, here’s a good question. Was Poles asked to choose from the list that George McCaskey and Ted Phillips provided for him, or was he allowed to go out and search other candidates before making a decision? All the reports say it was the latter, but that’s not what really needs to be answered.
Here is the real question: Who will be the offensive and defensive coordinator? Particularly the offensive side of the ball. Who will help Justin Fields develop? When you invest the draft capital as the previous regime did, you must build around him.
In fairness to Poles, he is willing to build around Fields and has said that he will do so. Eberflus, like Poles, is a fan of controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. In that retrospect, this looks like a good pairing, and both men are looking for discipline and success on both sides of the ball and have asked to do the work themselves and not be interfered with. Sounds good.
However, it would be worth noting that both men, according to Pro Football Network, are represented by former Bears defender and notable agent Trace Armstrong. Armstrong also has a relationship with Phillips, the team president and the man who many Bears fans want to be removed from his position.
Does that make this a bad hire? No, it does not, and if that’s the reasoning, there is a problem. However, to sit back and not mention it would be unfair. You leave no stone unturned, regardless of heavy and cold, it might be. Right now, at least on the surface, Chicago seems to have gotten two individuals who are determined to bring the team into the modern style of football.
If they want to turn the Chicago Bears around, Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus have a lot of work to do.
So what is Matt Eberflus all about? He was the former defensive coordinator in Indianapolis, for starters, and we all knew that. After taking over the Colts’ defense in 2017, which was near the bottom of the league, Eberflus turned them into a Top 10 unit. So, he does bring discipline to the organization, and that helps.
Additionally, as mentioned before, he has seen how the line of scrimmage almost always dictates the game’s outcome. Strength upfront helps provide insurance in the back. Despite Indianapolis having a quarterback problem, the offensive line was never an issue. In fact, they were among the best in the league, so you know that area will be a prime focus.
Now to get to the scheme. Eberflus ran a 4-3 while Chicago currently has the personnel for a 3-4. Sounds perplexing, doesn’t it? Sure. But Eberflus has made it clear during his tenure that he is willing to change and adapt to his player’s strengths, something the previous regime did not do. Again, that is a good reason to bring him aboard.
At the end of the day, it’s about results. Though the first names may give a brief cause to pause, there is a lot to like, and several questions need to be answered. For now, Chicago has their new head coach and general manager. But are they the ones to guide the ship through the tide? Time will tell.