5 defensive coordinators Bears need to be eyeing for 2024

The Bears will have no shortage of options to replace Alan Williams next offseason
Chicago Bears, Jim Leonhard
Chicago Bears, Jim Leonhard / John Fisher/GettyImages
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3. Jim Leonhard, Senior Football Analyst, Illinois

One of the better candidates to get an NFL defensive coordinator gig is recent Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard who is now a senior football analyst at Illinois. Last year, Leonhard was looked at by the Green Bay Packers for the same position. That shows he's been ready, and very well could make the leap soon.

In the past handful of seasons, Leonhard has led the Badgers to being one of the top defenses in the nation. In 2021, they even rivaled the Georgia Bulldogs for the top unit in the country.

Leonhard is a former NFL defensive back who played from 2005-2014 and quickly transitioned into coaching, back at Wisconsin in 2016. Former players usually make better coaches than those who never played the game, especially in today's NFL. Leonhard certainly qualifies as that type.

In five seasons as the Badgers' defensive coordinator, the team finished as a top-10 scoring defense. This year, he joined an Illinois staff whose defense was the number one unit in football last year. His pedigree speaks for himself, and Leonhard would be a phenomenal candidate to come to Chicago.