5 notable styles on Matt Eberflus new Chicago Bears defense

Parker Hurley
Chicago Bears - Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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While the Chicago Bears are going to name a defensive coordinator in the coming days you can be sure that Matt Eberflus is going to have a strong influence on what the team does. With that in mind, what is this defense going to look like next year? Will there be huge changes, or small things as well as verbiage?

5. Expect Chicago Bears to run more zone

It will not be a dramatic shift, but the team is going to run more zone coverage next year. In 2021, Matt Eberflus had his defense run man coverage just 23% of the time, per PFF. That was actually up from the 16% of man coverage that he ran in 2020. This shows that he will adjust based on his personnel, but overall, he relies on zone.

The Bears have typically leaned more towards 30% man coverage. Last season, they ran man coverage on 33% of their snaps.

The change is only three or four snaps per game, but overall it is a different philosophy that leads to it. Perhaps Eberflus was leaning on zone because he did not think that he had the cornerbacks, but the Bears’ depth chart is thin beyond Jaylon Johnson. This also may show that Eberflus will look for a cheaper zone cornerback, and not a strong, shut-down man corner.

We will see how he handles the position, and if his personnel changes anything.