It sounds crazy to think Matt Eberflus is already under the gun as head coach of the Chicago Bears. Yet that is the situation he finds himself in. His team hasn’t played in a competitive game since December 18th of last year. The past four contests with the Bears have all been blowout losses. Many chalked that up to talent deficiencies. GM Ryan Poles spent considerable time breaking down the roster last season. He put in a lot of work the past few months to infuse this team with more young, athletic talent. Hopes and expectations were high, including from team president Kevin Warren.
The 38-20 loss to Green Bay last week was a rude awakening for everybody. It wasn’t just that the Bears lost; it was how thoroughly outmaneuvered they were in every facet of the game. Eberflus’ players didn’t look ready to play. That isn’t a great indictment of a coach who constantly preaches playing smart. It has led many to wonder how short the leash might be for him if this trend continues. Given Warren’s background in the NFL?
Not long at all.
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Marty Mornhinweg – Fired after two seasons
Warren first began ascending the ranks with the Detroit Lions in 2001. Mornhinweg was in his first year as head coach. After two seasons, he had a 5-27 record. The team didn’t bother keeping him for a third, replacing him with the more experienced Steve Mariucchi in 2003.
Brad Childress – Fired one year after NFC championship appearance.
In 2005, Warren joined the Minnesota Vikings. The following season, Childress became their head coach. The team showed steady upward progress over the next two years, barely missing the playoffs in 2007. They made them in 2008, then marched to the NFC title game a year later, where they lost in overtime. Ten games into 2010, he was fired after starting 3-7.
Leslie Frazier – Fired one year after playoff run.
The former Bears defensive back inherited a tough situation from Childress. It took time to clean up, going 6-16 in his first two years. He broke through to the postseason in 2012 with a 10-6 record despite poor quarterback play in 2012. That wasn’t enough to save him. Minnesota still fired him after the team regressed the next year, undone mainly by injuries and QB problems.
Matt Eberflus has a weak case to present to Kevin Warren.
Right now, he’s in Mornhinwheg territory. The head coach is 3-15 to start his career and has now lost 11 straight games dating back to last October. There is a significant danger that a loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday could spark a downward spiral even an experienced coach couldn’t stop. That is how bad the vibes are at Halas Hall. Rumors are that ownership is not happy. Warren isn’t happy, either. He made it clear when he took over that the standard for this organization was championships. Nothing less.
One must not forget the overarching reality. Kevin Warren did not hire Eberflus. He arrived a couple of months after that happened. While he signed off on the decision, Bears ownership made it clear he now calls the shot. Eberflus and Poles both report to him. If Warren wants a change, he will likely get his way. This head coach needs to pull the nose up and do it soon. There is a strong possibility he won’t see 2024 if he can’t.