The Chicago Bears are headed into their final week of the 2023 NFL season, and the amount of question marks surrounding this team is at an all-time high.
Well, maybe not an all-time high, but the Chicago Bears have a lot of questions that require an answer sooner than later.
To keep Eberflus with the Chicago Bears or to not keep Eberflus with the Chicago Bears, that is the question
And one of the biggest question marks surrounding this team is: Who will be the head coach of the Bears next season? Will the Chicago Bears keep Matt Eberflus with his 10-23 record? Maybe they'll go get Jim Harbaugh from Michigan. Or, maybe they'll select a head coach ready to hit the open market.
So, as it stands, those are the three most likely options the Chicago Bears have for head coach going into the 2024-2025 season.
1. Keep continuity and bring Matt Eberflus back
This option is becoming increasingly likely, though probably not the best football decision.
2. Hire one of the upcoming head coach candidates
Personally, I'm all-in on Ben Johnson. Whether he's all-in on the Chicago Bears... Who's to say?
3. (Least likely) Snatch Jim Harbaugh from Michigan/other NFL headcoaching vacancies
Why not toss the navy and orange back on, Jim? C'mon!
Well, there is one more option the Chicago Bears could consider if they want to keep Eberflus around while also shaking it up. Maybe it isn't a real option to those who believe in reality, but it's an option nonetheless.
Could the Chicago Bears keep Matt Eberflus as defensive coordinator and hire a new head coach?
Now, yes, this is unlikely. Heck, I'll even say it's super unlikely. The odds of a coach being demoted from head coach and staying with that same team is not necessarily a textbook move. In all honesty, I don't know if it's ever happened.
However, maybe it does make sense in this isolated situation.
Not to bring ugly back to the surface, but remember how the Chicago Bears' defense was playing under Alan Williams? You know, the former defensive coordinator who resigned after rumors and stories flooded the media landscape?
Well, it's been coach Flus' defense since, and maybe coaching a defense is what Matt Eberflus does incredibly well on a football field. That's what got him the Chicago Bears head coaching job in the first place.
Since Williams' resignation on Sept. 20, 2023, Matt Eberflus has done a supurb job with the defense. Specifically the defense, not the team as a whole. And it really isn't easy complimenting a coach like Matt Eberflus, but the way he has this Chicago Bears defense playing is impressive, period.
Maybe it isn't coach Flus bringing the best out of these guys. Maybe they were this good under Williams, too?
Nope! They weren't! They were pretty darn bad under Alan Williams!
Chicago Bears' defense under Alan Williams (19 games)
Chicago Bears' defense under Matt Eberflus (15 games)
* Yards allowed: 6,937 (365.1 yds/game)
* Yards allowed: 4,313 (287.5 yds/game)
Now, the game isn't played on a spreadsheet, but in the universe where it is, Matt Eberflus clears Alan Williams by a country mile.
With Flus calling the defense since Williams' mysterious resignation after Week 2, the Chicago Bears' defense has allowed almost 100 fewer yards per game, almost 10 fewer points per game, and have allowed almost 15% fewer scoring drives.
The issue with Matt Eberflus is that he's not just the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. Currently, he wears the hat of head coach AND defensive coordinator. So, if the Bears want to keep Flus, they have to keep him as head coach.
What if the Chicago Bears demote Matt Eberflus to defensive coordinator and bring in one of the coaches hitting the market?
It would take Eberflus to lack an ego, and maybe he does. Maybe, since being head coach, he's self-aware enough to know that being a head coach isn't what he's best at. That said, he seems to really understand how to run a defense.
So, what if Matt Eberflus takes over the vacancy at defensive coordinator, and then Ryan Poles brings in a Ben Johnson/Bobby Slowik/Jim Harbaugh to run the show? That is the recipe that would give the Chicago Bears the best chance of success moving forward.
And with Luke Getsy's offense being wildly lackluster this season, who is going to want to be the offensive coordinator under a Matt Eberflus-led Chicago Bears team— assuming Getsy is let go?
You know what would make an offensive coordinator position more ideal? Having a young, offensive minded head coach running the ship with a defense and defensive coordinator who should be able to continue what they've already built.
It's an unlikely scenario— given the Bears would have to demote their current head coach—but it's a scenario I've been painting in my head for months now like I'm Bob Ross.
Should I call my therapist about this hypothetical? Maybe. But, gosh darn it, it makes too much sense for the Chicago Bears' future for me not to think there's at least a 1% chance this happens.
I'll take those odds. I'll take those odds every day and twice on Sunday. And so should the Chicago Bears.