After Jordan Love and the Packers just well done cooked the Cowboys and the Lions won their first playoff game in 32 years, it may feel like nothing the Bears do really matters.

Ryan Poles vowed to “take the north and never give it back” but smartly didn’t say WHEN the Bears would take the north.

Minor details, am I right?

After the season-ending humble pie from the Packers in Week 18, Halas Hall was radio silence for over 48 hours. It was odd, even for the Bears who historically are a franchise that doesn’t make quick, drastic decisions. Matt Nagy, John Fox, Marc Trestman and Lovie Smith were all fired on “Black Monday” in the NFL, the Monday after the Regular Season ends. Usually during that 24 hour period following the final regular season game, you would see reports on the coaches that were viewed on the hot seat whether they were being retained or fired.

It wasn’t until late Tuesday / early Wednesday morning that reports came out that Matt Eberflus will remain head coach of the Bears in 2024, while offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and seven other offensive assistant coaches had been fired.

While the time it took to come to this decision was unorthodox, the final result was what was generally expected. I wanted Jim Harbaugh or a new, young, offensive mind at head coach as much as anyone but deep down we all knew it was a pipe dream.

Matt Eberflus had an extremely strong case to remain as head coach, plain and simple. Sure his overall record isn’t good, but the first year was a purposeful disaster. Khalil Mack was traded before the season began, and then the Bears sat at a record 3-3 only to proceed to trade their two best defensive players left in Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn – who were also the leaders in the locker room.

Gutting your defensive head coach’s defense? Yeah, won’t blame Eberflus for that.

Then heading into the offseason, the expectation was that the Bears needed to add a three tech defensive tackle (3DT) given how crucial that position is to the success of Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 defensive scheme. Well, Ryan Poles drafted Gervon Dexter Sr. in the second round of the draft, only issue is that he didn’t play 3DT at Florida. So not only was Eberflus given a rookie, but a rookie that hadn’t played the position of need.

Not ideal.

On top of that, Eberflus wasn’t given a productive edge rusher until the deadline of this season in Montez Sweat. Pressuring the quarterback was equivalent to quantum physics for the Bears’ defensive line until Montez Sweat arrived, which if you’re at all familiar with how a 4-3 defensive scheme intends to work….that’s a problem. The statistical improvement of the Bears defense after Sweat arrived cannot be overstated. The expectation is that the Bears should have a TOP 5 defense next season, and it would be SHOCKING if that wasn’t the case.

The cards that Matt Eberflus was dealt in his first two years has been nothing short of having 16 with the dealer showing a face card in blackjack. You’re supposed to lose. Not giving Eberflus a third year under those circumstances, would be unheard of.

But this offseason is unique. The frustration of retaining Eberflus comes from the fact that this might be the greatest NFL coaching cycle we have ever witnessed. The names that are available as potential candidates is unprecedented. Jim Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, Mike Vrabel are all proven top of the line head coaches. Offensive coordinators like Ben Johnson, Bobby Slowik, Brian Johnson, Eric Bienemy. Defensive guys like Dan Quinn, Brian Flores, and Mike Macdonald.

The options are endless, and to keep Matt Eberflus during this cycle while holding the number one overall pick feels like a failure.

If it’s any consolation, this will not be the same Bears next year. Ryan Poles is searching for a new offensive coordinator, which interviews have already been done on Shane Waldron (OC – Seahawks), Klint Kubiak (Passing game coordinator – 49ers), Greg Olson (QB coach – Seahawks, not the former TE), and Liam Coen (OC – Kentucky). There will be more interviews done in the coming week, and you should be excited about these candidates that will likely be paired with a new rookie QB.

The Bears will be able to use Matt Eberflus’ defense as a foundation to fall back on going forward as they try to navigate this pivotal offseason on the offensive side of the ball. Throwing away that improvement defensively in addition to the offensive struggles could have led to a catastrophic future.

Call it a conservative approach, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from this organization.

Comments are closed.

Check Also

Unrealistic expectations: ‘Generational prospects’ do not exist

Bijan Robinson was lauded as a generational prospect last year. Trevor Lawrence and Kyle P…