The Chicago Bears could hire familiar face as defensive coordinator

Though Matt Eberflus called the defense for most of last season, there's still a vacancy at the defensive coordinator position. Is this familiar face next up?

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Michael Zagaris/GettyImages / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Whether as a player from 1984-92, as a defensive quality control coach from 1997-98, or as a defensive coordinator from 2004-06, the Chicago Bears and Ron Rivera have spent their fair share of time with each other.

Now, it's possible he could find himself back in Chicago, and not just as a guest for a 1985 Bears celebration.

Is Ron Rivera the Chicago Bears' next defensive coordinator?

Considering the Chicago Bears' vacancy at the position, as well as Rivera's reported interest in potentially being a defensive coordinator again, the two parties could find themselves working together once again. It could give Rivera a chance to get back to coaching instead of having to worry about all the things fans don't see head coaches doing.

As a defensive coordinator, Ron Rivera did quite well with the Chicago Bears from 2004-06. Outside of the first year, Rivera did an outstanding job with a defense that would eventually face-off against Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl.

2004 Chicago Bears defense

2005 Chicago Bears defense

2006 Chicago Bears defense

331 points allowed (13th)
5,390 yards allowed (21th)
29 takeaways (16th)

202 points allowed (1st)
4,509 yards allowed (2nd)
34 takeaways (6th)

255 points allowed (3rd)
4,706 yards allowed (5th)
44 takeaways (1st)

Now, maybe having Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Peanut Tillman, and a handful of other household names makes coaching a defense easier. I'm sure that helps. But, being a part of the 1985 Chicago Bears defense— one noted as being one of the best in NFL history— was surely a valuable experience.

Some time has gone by since Rivera was last in Soldier Field as a member of the home team, and since becoming a head coach, it hasn't been nearly as impressive.

In 13 seasons, Rivera was 102-103-2, and 3-5 in the playoffs. In those 13 seasons, as the stats suggest, it was pretty up and down. Consistency was something Rivera couldn't obtain as a head coach, but as someone with an entirely defensive playing career and coaching career up to that point, it seems as if Rivera has a niche.

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And that niche could include coaching the defense of the Chicago Bears.

With a defensive mind in head coach Matt Eberflus, it could be an intriguing option for Ron Rivera to reunite with a familiar face in the Chicago Bears.