The Chicago Bears filled out their offensive coordinator position, and now they are looking for a defensive coordinator. One name that has already been interviewed for the job is the Tennessee Titans defensive pass game coordinator & cornerbacks coach Chris Harris.
Chicago Bears interview Chris Harris for defensive coordinator job
What does Harris bring to the Bears, and why would they have an interest in hiring him as their defensive coordinator?
Chris Harris was a former player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 2005 and played with the Bears until 2006. Then, he joined the Carolina Panthers for three seasons before going back to the Chicago Bears for two years.
In 2011, he played with the Detroit Lions, and 2012 was his last NFL season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Harris got right into coaching. He re-joined the Chicago Bears, who had Marc Trestman as head coach and Mel Tucker as defensive coordinator. Harris stayed for two years before joining Jon Pagano on the Los Angeles Chargers as an assistant defensive backs coach.
In 2020, he moved to Washington to be the defensive backs coach. It was a promotion and a chance to reunite with Ron Rivera, who he played under when he was with the Chicago Bears.
Harris was there for two years before he moved to the Tennessee Titans to be their pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. He worked under Shane Bowen and Mike Vrabel.
Pros to Chicago Bears hiring Chris Harris as defensive coordinator
Chris Harris is obviously committed to Chicago. He saw the start to his playing and coaching career with the Chicago Bears. He would be loyal, and the team would not have to worry about him using this as a stepping stool. Beyond that, not many candidates will take this job, knowing that Matt Eberflus will be calling plays.
Harris has never called plays in the NFL, so this job would be a promotion, but it would not require all of the extra responsibilities, so he could dip his toes into the coordinating experience.
Beyond that, he obviously knows how to work with the secondary, and the Bears’ strength is in the back end. They could play this up.
Cons to Chicago Bears hiring Chris Harris as defensive coordinator
As noted, he does not bring play-calling experience, and if they did ask him to do this, it would be new. While he has just been an assistant, great defense has not followed him. The Chicago Bears were awful with Mel Tucker, the Chargers fired Jon Pagano with Harris on staff, and the Commanders and Titans coaching staff just got fired this past offseason. All of them had disappointing defenses. Is he the best candidate or the only one they can get with this specific role and responsibility?