Saturday, May 28, 2022

Shocked Matt Eberflus Is First To Get 2nd Look From Bears? Don’t Be


As the head coaching interviews have gone on, the Chicago Bears hadn’t yet brought somebody back for a second look. That changed on Wednesday when Ed Werder of ESPN announced that Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus became the first to get that green light. This came as a surprise to many. A lot of those covering the Bears didn’t see him as one of the top candidates for the job.

If people had done some digging on the man, they would feel quite differently. Just start with the immediate history. Eberflus has run the Colts defense for four seasons now. In that span, the unit has finished top 10 in points allowed three times and top 10 in takeaways four times. His units are known for being smart, disciplined, and aggressive. Everybody flies to the football. That is often a mark of good coaching.

It doesn’t stop there though.

People forget Eberflus was a defensive coordinator for several years at Missouri from 2001 to 2008. During that time, he helped the program win three bowl games including the Cotton Bowl in 2007. Along the way, he helped develop eventual Pro Bowlers William Moore and Aldon Smith. His work finally drew interest from the NFL in 2009 when he joined the Cleveland Browns as their linebackers coach. He would take the same job with the Dallas Cowboys two years later.

It was there that Eberflus really started to shine. With his help, underachieving players like Anthony Spencer and Sean Lee became Pro Bowlers. Even failures from other teams like Rolando McClain became productive under his direction. It was the first sign that he was capable of elevating players to perform at their best. That is what led to his hiring in Indianapolis. Now it seems he’s ready for the next step and according to Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog, his first interview was a rousing success.

Just watch the guy work here. What stands out immediately isn’t just Eberflus’ knowledge of the game and his ability to motivate. Look at how he is able to teach his players. A critical trait coaches need to have.

Matt Eberflus is ready for his opportunity

Unlike Matt Nagy, he has coached at the coordinator level for several years. His success is hard to argue at this point. Players both like and respect him. This is a man who should be and is ready for his shot. The questions from this point are straightforward. They have to do with making another strong impression in the second interview, who he might look to hire for his staff, and most importantly what the Bears plan to do at GM.

That last part may already be in motion. The Bears are exploring two possibilities from the Colts front office for their top executive position. One, assistant GM Ed Dodds, reportedly didn’t interview well and withdrew his name from consideration. The other, director of college scouting Morocco Brown, might be a quiet favorite. Not just because of his experience and connection to Matt Eberflus. He also worked in the Bears front office from 2001 to 2007. By far their most successful period since the 1980s.

It isn’t difficult to connect the dots.

That said, this process is far from over. Eberflus isn’t likely to be the only coach that gets a second interview. Reports persist the Bears continue to like former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier among others. Still, it seems the man has their attention. That is always the critical first step.

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