Bears’ Matt Eberflus hints defensive coach could be hired soon – NBC Sports Chicago

With the extended weekend behind them, it looks like the Bears are getting closer to adding some help to their defensive coaching staff. On Monday, head coach Matt Eberflus shed light on the situation and said that if the team did hire someone, it would be for a senior defensive analyst — or someone who will help the team with their advanced preparation and someone who Who may have some different approaches to how the team can attack opposing offenses.

“I don’t have a name right now, I don’t have a timetable for it,” Eberflus said. “But he will come soon. And we look forward to adding to it – if we choose to do so.

The Bears have operated without a defensive coordinator for most of the season, as former defensive coordinator Allen Williams walked away from the team by Week 2 and ultimately resigned to focus on his health and his family. Eberflus has taken over defensive playcalling duties in his absence. During the week, the Bears rely on their position coaches to gameplan each pitch. Eberflus said he plans to continue playing defensive back, no matter who the Bears add to the staff.

Of course, the Bears can only add coaches who are available and interested. They also have to fit into Eberflus’s plan and program. It seemed like Rod Marinelli would be a good fit for him, as Eberflus cited him as a mentor and Eberflus had worked on Marinelli’s staff in Dallas for several years. However, Eberflus said Monday that Marinelli is “very comfortable in retirement.” With Marinelli out, the four options that immediately come to mind are Lovie Smith, Gary Pinkel, Leslie Frazier and Charles Tillman. Here’s why and why not every man may be suitable for this job.

lovi smith

Smith had a strong performance for the Bears, winning his last game as head coach of the Houston Texans and giving the Bears the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft. Would he like to help them some more? The defense that Smith ran while he was the Bears’ head coach from 2004–2012 is similar to Eberflus’s defense, and Eberflus’s HITS principles include the same loafs that Smith assigned while he was in Chicago. It seems both coaches see the game the same way, so there should be no questions about the fit. Offensive struggles under Smith kept them from their ultimate goal, but he led some of the best defenses in franchise history. He has got undeniable success in the scheme. George McCaskey may have some fond memories of that success, but Eberflus probably wouldn’t want a familiar face in Halas Hall when questions have recently begun to arise about his future.

gary pinkel

Eberflus often cites Pinkel as one of his greatest mentors. Pinkel was Eberflus’ coach for one season when Fluss played linebacker at Toledo. It was Pinkel who also gave Eberflus his first job as a coach, and when Pinkel moved from Toledo to Missouri, he brought Eberflus with him and made Fluss his defensive coordinator. Pinkel is a Hall of Fame coach, but he retired in 2015 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. At the time, Pinkel said he wanted to focus on his health and his family as he received treatment. Maybe he doesn’t want to return to football. Furthermore, Fluss said he would prefer if his senior defensive analyst had experience in the NFL, and Pinkel had no experience.

Leslie Frazier

Frazier left coaching prior to the 2023 season with a stated intention of returning to coaching in 2024. If he still wants to return the Bears should consider bringing him on board. Frazier has incredible experience in Eberflus’ system and has helped build the Bills into one of the strongest defenses in the league. Additionally, he worked with Tremaine Edmunds and helped Edmunds become a premier pass defending linebacker. Of course, Frazier has ties to Chicago as a member of the beloved ’85 Bears. Frazier suffered a career-ending injury in Super Bowl XX, so he did not finish the game, but he led the team with six interceptions that season. But Frazier probably wants a second chance to be a head coach, and he may not see the Bears as a good stepping stone for that opportunity.

Charles Tillman

Tillman is one of the best cornerbacks to play the style that Eberflus wants, and his peanut punch changes the way defenders play the ball. We also know that Eberflus loves Tillman, and has asked Tillman to speak in front of the team twice. Who better to help than to come up with new ideas? The problem is that last we heard, Tillman was still working for the FBI. Furthermore, Tillman has no coaching experience. It’s unclear whether Tillman’s long playing career is enough to warrant the type of experience Eberflus is looking for in the “senior defensive analyst” role, but he may want someone with experience as a coach. Have some level of familiarity to work with.

Eberflus said the team is considering making a few people its senior defensive analysts, and he has received a lot of positive feedback from potential hires.

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