Sunday, July 14, 2024

Ranking Matt Eberflus Replacements By Hiring Likelihood


The Chicago Bears won’t comment on the job status of Matt Eberflus. GM Ryan Poles insisted the head coach has his full support, but public words mean little. Anybody with common sense can tell this team isn’t playing winning football. Their collapse late against the Detroit Lions was somehow uglier than the collapse they had against Denver six weeks ago. This team should at least be 5-6. Instead, they’re 3-8. Eberflus has won six games total in almost two full seasons. He’s still winless against the NFC North.

What else is there to see at this point? He has a far better roster than he did last season. They play hard but don’t play smart and constantly come up small in tight games. That speaks to a coaching problem. It feels like a change is coming. The only question is who the Bears will bring in to replace him. Here are the names that make the most sense ranked by likelihood.

These names feel like Matt Eberflus replacements to watch.

7. Mike MacDonald (Ravens DC)

People will shudder at the idea of another defensive coach. That is understandable, but proof still exists that guys from that side of the ball become great head coaches. MacDonald is only 36 and already runs the best defense in the NFL. Baltimore is dominating opponents almost every week. He’s also learned from both John and Jim Harbaugh, so he understands what it takes to run a consistent, successful organization.

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6. Eric Bieniemy (Commanders OC)

He oversaw two MVP seasons by Patrick Mahomes and won two Super Bowl titles as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator. Now he has Sam Howell, a former 5th round pick, on track to throw for over 4,000 yards. He’s proven he understands how to get the most from a quarterback. He’s also worked with Andy Reid and Ron Rivera, two successful head coaches with two different philosophies.

5. Kellen Moore (Chargers OC)

Los Angeles is 4-6 this season, but it’s not because of their offense. They rank 8th in scoring this season, and Justin Herbert is on track for the best season of his career with 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Moore has plenty of experience as a coordinator dating back to his time in Dallas. He’s a former QB himself. He would have no problem developing the position. If anybody is ready for his shot, it’s him.

4. Shane Waldron (Seahawks OC)

Over the past few years, we’ve learned that Sean McVay always seems to produce good coaches. Kevin O’Connell is the latest example. Waldron was another understudy of his in L.A. In the past two years, he’s gotten to work with Pete Carroll, a future Hall of Famer himself. Waldron squeezed a Pro Bowl season from Geno Smith last year. This year hasn’t been as prolific, but the guy has a strong resume.

3. Bobby Slowik (Texans OC)

Another guy that seems to produce good coaches is Kyle Shanahan. Two of his former assistants, Mike McDaniel and DeMeco Ryans, have had success lately. Slowik comes from the same tree. He has rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud in MVP conversations lately. What he’s done with the Houston Texans offense is nothing short of impressive. It’s his first year, so experience is a question mark. The results are undeniable.

2. Jim Harbaugh (Michigan HC)

Having Kevin Warren in the building makes this more plausible than ever before. He worked with Harbaugh for years as Big Ten commissioner. While the head coach faces sign-stealing controversies at Michigan, nobody disputes he is still an excellent coach. His program is once again in the national title picture. He’s been itching for another shot at the NFL. The Chicago Bears are his dream destination. They want to win. He wins everywhere.

1. Ben Johnson (Lions OC)

Most people agree he is the hottest candidate for the 2024 circuit. Johnson transformed Detroit into a top 10 offense from the moment they took over. They run the ball well and Jared Goff is playing some of the best football of his career. Johnson is a sharp play caller and understands how to use his personnel properly. He seems to be the choice if the Bears want somebody to guide their quarterback position out of the darkness Matt Eberflus has kept them in.


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Nov 21, 2023 7:05 pm

Warren & Harbaugh couldnt agree on cancelling games during Covid in the Big Ten, and there was animosity. Do you honestly think they’ll agree on working together?? No way. My gut instinct is Poles will want a guy hes comfortable with and familiar . Oh and offensive orientated. My gut says EB. He’ll be tough sell because of his Chiefs connections but thats who Poles will hire.

Nov 21, 2023 2:53 pm

@Bubba Ho-Tep I agree with you about the differences in HC and OC or DC mentality, except I think the transition to HC isn’t difficult . . . if you’re willing to expand your perspective and see things more broadly. About Eberflus being a “great defensive coordinator,” it just doesn’t cut it when “his” defense gives up 14 points in 5 minutes and basically concedes the game. That isn’t great, regardless of how the rest of the game went. It’s “OK” to “Bad.” Sean Payton and Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick were decent coordinators, but excellent head coaches. The best… Read more »

Nov 21, 2023 2:40 pm

– I’ll ask Robert and Roquan, not asking JJ just yet. I think at this point, the money and opportunities might all be in the same ballpark for him, but if Eberflus keeps playing this soft “prevent” defense at critical times, anyone who can bail, might.
If you look at the difference between Steve Spagnola’s shifting defense for Kansas City (the reason they’re winning since they’ve had to revamp their receiving corps for Mahomes) or Eberflus, I’d take off for an opportunity to win.

Nov 21, 2023 2:36 pm

I like most of these offensive coordinators and then Mike McDonald from the Ravens. I saw what he did with the Michigan defense the one year he was there (on loan from John Harbaugh’s Ravens to his brother Jim Harbaugh at Michigan), so I know many of these guys know how to teach. Both McVay and Shanahan guys know how to teach. The biggest question is, can they run the whole show? The problem with pulling coordinators from another team is they HAVE to be offered a higher position. They can’t be hired laterally. Johnson, Slowik, Waldron have proven their… Read more »

Nov 21, 2023 2:32 pm

One thing is for sure, Poles does a good job of not showing his cards.

Last edited 7 months ago by FootballAtArlington1

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