Heading into the 2022 season, the Chicago Bears will be with their fourth defensive coordinator over the past five seasons. By hiring former Colts DC Matt Eberflus as Head coach, the Bears have hit the reset button once again. Playing a “4-3” base defense, Eberflus’ scheme will be a bit unfamiliar to key players like Roquan Smith, Jaylon Johnson, and Eddie Jackson. Adapting to Eberflus “fly to the ball” and “no loafing” mentality may be an adjustment for these players.
Converting smoothly from Vic Fangio’s style base “3-4”, to Eberflus’ 4-3 may be difficult. Luckily for this new Bears regime, Ryan Pace could have left them far worse to work with on the defensive side of the football. With stud defenders to work with at all three levels of the defense, Eberflus has a tough but doable job ahead of him. Robert Quinn has plenty of familiarity playing in this style of system and should be a great scheme fit rushing the passer at DE. As the veteran leader on this defense, look for him to set the tone early on in OTAs and training camp.
The Chicago Bears will need these three positions to perform well on defense
In 2021, the Colts ranked 25th in the NFL with just 33 sacks. During his four years as Colts DC, Eberflus never had an edge rusher of Robert Quinn’s caliber. Quinn, Trevis Gipson, and newly acquired Colts DE Al-Quadin Muhammad provide “Flus” with plenty of proven talent off the edge. Signing Muhammad to a two-year, $10 million dollar contract, Ryan Poles provided Flus with a proven player that already knows his scheme. Logging 6 sacks and a PFF grade of 64.6 in 2021, Muhammad is a solid structural piece that can play right away for this Bears defense.
Despite plenty of proven talent at edge rusher, linebacker and defensive back, there are still some holes in this new Bears defense. If Eberflus is going to replicate his success from Indy in Chicago, here are three positions he must have figured out.