The Chicago Bears aren’t messing around. In a span of just a few hours, their list of head coaching interview requests has more than doubled. George McCaskey is a man of his word when he said the search would be thorough. Just this morning Nathaniel Hackett, Todd Bowles, and Byron Leftwich were announced as options. Now defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus joins the fray, and this one is really interesting.
For a few reasons. Bill Polian, the Hall of Fame GM that is guiding the Bears’ search, has deep ties to the Indianapolis Colts organization where Eberflus works. It’s also important to note that the Bears plan to meet with not one but two GM candidates from that organization as well. College scouting director Morocco Brown and assistant GM Ed Dodds. Either of which would be obvious options to pair with the head coach hopeful.
One of the NFL's most respected assistants, Eberflus also will interview with the #Jaguars on Saturday.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2022
Eberflus comes across as unassuming but don’t be fooled.
He has two qualities that tend to stand out. He can motivate and he is a solid teacher. Both of those traits are reflected in how his defense plays. The Colts defense is celebrated for their energy, effort, and discipline. They’ve ranked top 10 in points allowed in three of the past four seasons for a reason. Not to mention top 10 takeaways four straight seasons as well. Matt Eberflus is a man that gets results.
He helped turn Darius Leonard into arguably the best linebacker in professional football. A Defensive Player of the Year possibility. Kenny Moore transformed from undrafted rookie into Pro Bowl cornerback. DeForest Buckner was an All-Pro for the first time in 2020 and Denico Autry unlocked his full potential once Eberflus took over his development as well. This man tends to get the best from his players and it’s been that way for a long time.
He was a coordinator in college too from 2001 to 2008 at Missouri. One can make a case Eberflus is has been ready for a head coaching opportunity for a long time now. His style would fit well with what the Bears are searching for.