The winds of the Chicago Bears head coaching market are blowing in all sorts of directions lately. What is known to this point is the fact that only one name has received a second interview request. That is Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Combined with an update from Mike Garafolo stating Bill Polian saw the man as his primary choice for the job, it started to seem like the Bears had their man lined up.
That might not be the case though. It becoming more and more likely that they lined up this second interview because another team is starting to make a determined push to land him. This team is the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, their GM Trent Baalke has pinpointed Eberflus as the guy needed to bring stability to the organization and hopefully get quarterback Trevor Lawrence pointed in the right direction.
“Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke, whose role in the team’s ongoing coaching search has confounded many around the league and angered Jacksonville’s fanbase, has most recently aligned himself with Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus in his attempt to find a coach willing to eagerly work alongside him, league sources said.”
It isn’t just him either.
Most will say La Canfora can be unreliable in these situations, but the reality is other insiders have hinted at the same. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN chimed in on the subject during a recent column. He confirmed that Eberflus had a strong interview in Jacksonville, making a big impression on their team brass. Not only that but there is a belief that he may prefer going with the Jaguars if given the choice between the two jobs.
“There’s a sense in some coaching circles that, out of the two options, Eberflus will lean Jacksonville, which badly needs an adult in the room to build with Trevor Lawrence.”
There are a number of reasons this might be the case. The fact Jacksonville really wants him is most obvious. Coaching in a warmer climate and a smaller market with less pressure is another. One source informed SM he also might not be overly high on Justin Fields. If given a choice between him and Lawrence, it seems he’ll go with the latter. That isn’t any fault of the Bears. Just the reality of this situation.
Maybe Chicago Bears try to change his mind in the 2nd interview
They will have a chance this coming Wednesday. It will be interesting to see what the Bears do. Whether they try to convince him he’s their guy or if they wish to get an in-person meeting to see if their first impressions of him were valid. Right now it feels like the Jaguars are further along in their process than Chicago. Eberflus is the only coach candidate they’ve agreed to meet a second time.
Are they prepared to offer him the job despite not doing the same for anybody else? That feels unlikely. So if the Colts coordinator does leave without a deal next week, it is looking like he might be destined for Jacksonville. In such a case it might clarify the Chicago Bears’ situation as to who they might end up targeting. Then again this entire process remains impossible to predict because they still don’t have a GM.
George McCaskey said the preference is they find a GM first.
Unless that happens prior to Wednesday, it doesn’t feel like Eberflus will end up getting the job. Especially if one of these candidates with no connections to him impress in their interviews. All the while other coaching options like Brian Daboll, Byron Leftwich, and Brian Flores appear to have made strong impressions. If nothing else, one thing is clear. Nobody can predict what the Bears will do.