3. Matt Ebeflus is now going to sink or swing with his defense.
Defensive coordinator Alan Williams has been heavily criticized since joining the Bears for his conservative play-calling. In his defense, there was no talent on his side of the ball, and it got even worse after the Bears traded both linebacker Roquan Smith and defense end Robert Quinn during last year’s trading deadline.
This off-season, the Bears added two proven linebackers in DJ Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds, run stopper Andrew Billings, drafted cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, defensive tackles Gervon Dexter and Zaach Pickens, and added proven edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. The talent has been upgraded significantly.
The Bears' defense was embarrassed by Jordan Love in the season-opener, and Williams abruptly took a leave of absence this past week. Matt Eberflus took over defensive play-calling duties, which made perfect sense. He was a defensive coordinator before and he knows the system inside and out.
While Eberflus attempted more blitzing, they had zero sacks in the game. Zero. They came close on several occasions, including Ngakoue, who whiffed twice to bring down pesky Baker Mayfield, who passed for 317 yards, and he was 10/11 on third down conversion at one point. As the offense sputtered, the defense came back and stayed on the field because of a lack of turnovers and sacks.
The secondary, which was already missing nickel back Kyler Gordon on IR, got destroyed by Mike Evans with 171 receiving yards. Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson had a very rough game getting beaten by Evans.
Then yesterday, Williams abruptly resigned citing health and family reasons amidst rumors of his house and the Halas Hall being raided by FBI, and former Bears legend turned FBI agent Charles Tillman. While the story of the FBI raid turned out to be a hoax, I feel this is not the last time we hear about Williams.
So, the tenure of Alan Williams ended unceremoniously. Eberflus will be asked why he even hired Williams in the first place as the defensive coordinator, and whether he could have taken over as the defensive coordinator much sooner.
Let me end the abrupt departure of Alan Williams with the following thoughts: 1. We all wish him and his family the best in whatever they are dealing with.
2. He was not good at his job and was probably going to be replaced soon. It needed to happen. They found a convenient excuse without hurting his pride.