While the Chicago Bears' vacancy at offensive coordinator is getting all of the attention, some may have forgotten that it is not the only vacancy they have. There is still an opening for the defensive coordinator. The Bears have been without one since Week 3 when Alan Williams resigned.
The Bears decided not to fill the position for the rest of the season. Head coach Matt Eberflus, who was a defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts prior to getting the job with Chicago, took over the defense, Later in the season, the team did hire Phil Snow to be the senior defensive analyst. Basically, he was a consultant who helped Eberflus.
Having Eberflus continue to be in charge of the defense is not something sustainable. He needs to be the coach of the entire team. His duties with the defense might have kept him from dealing with the bad relationship between quarterback Justin Fields and the fired offensive coordinator, Luke Getsy. He will likely continue to call the plays for the defense, however.
The Chicago Bears want to fill in the defensive coordinator job and could bring in a familiar face to take over the defense
There has not been much information about who the Bears are interviewing for the vacancy on the defensive side. However, over the weekend we got some news. It was reported that the Bears will interview Chris Harris this week for the position.
Harris is the current Tennessee Titans defensive passing game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. However, he has ties with the Chicago Bears.
Harris was the Bears' sixth-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He played both free and strong safety in Chicago for two seasons before he moved on to the Carolina Panthers. After three seasons there, he returned to Chicago. He had 5 interceptions for the Bears in 2010. He then played for the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars before his career ended.
Harris then started his coaching career in Chicago as a quality control coach in 2013. He also coached for the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Commanders before he went to Tennessee in 2023.
Harris was a popular player both with the fans and with the organization. They respected him enough to give him his first shot at coaching. Now they may feel he is ready to take more responsibility and run a defense. Despite having little experience, he does not need a lot.
As mentioned earlier, Eberflus would likely continue as the defensive play caller. The defense did improve after Alan Williams left. The unit gave up 31 points per game in their first four games, all losses. In the next 13 games, though, that dropped to 18 points. During that time, the Bears won seven games. Considering they lost their previous 14 straight games, winning seven out of 13 was pretty good.
Eberflus could stay as the play caller and mentor Harris.
While Harris could be a front-runner for the job if he interviews well, he has choices. The Titans could decide to keep him (though the fact that head coach Mike Vrabel was fired might not allow that to happen). Additionally, Harris has already interviewed for the Jaguars defensive coordinator vacancy.