Yesterday, Wednesday, January 10th, the Chicago Bears made sweeping changes across their coaching staff. Those changes included firing Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy, a subject of long-time criticism from fans and media. Along with Getsy, the Bears let go of Quarterbacks Coach Andrew Janocko, Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert, Running Backs Coach Omar Young and Assistant Tight Ends Coach Tim Zetts.
Not mentioned was the biggest of them all, Head Coach Matt Eberflus.
Ever since leaving the Colts’ Defensive Coordinator job two years ago, he’s posted a 10-24 record as the Bears’ top coach. His lack of time management skills and inability to play with a lead has led to countless blown opportunities, leading to higher numbers in the loss column.
Off the field, he often struggles with the media, contradicting himself many times within the same press conference. A prime example of this happened earlier this year when Eberflus claimed that Justin Fields was still available to play after being listed as “Doubtful” although he had never been medically cleared to play.
Occurrences like this only built up the already high level of dysfunction within the organization. One of the many reasons for this dysfunction was the inability of Eberflus to keep his staff in check.
Just two weeks into the season with a struggling defense, Chicago parted ways with their Defensive Coordinator, Alan Williams. We’re still not sure what the issue was, but it’s clear it wasn’t performance-related. Williams wasn’t the only coach who got canned midseason either. Just weeks later Eberflus would be forced to fire Running Backs Coach David Walker over workplace behavior issues.
The last thing the Chicago Bears needed at that time was more distractions.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened. Between the “Fire Eberflus” and “Fire Getsy” chants were fans wondering what was happening at Halas Hall.
Eventually. Eberflus would put together a small run, posting four wins between weeks 12-17. In that time, the defense improved after he assumed play-calling duties. It seemed like the culture was turning a corner, just at the wrong time. The Bears’ late rally wouldn’t be enough to make the playoffs, ending their season with a 7-10 record.
Over the last few days, we’ve seen a mass exodus of employed head coaches
Many assumed the Bears would be contributing to that group but that likely won’t be the case this year. Kevin Warren and Bears leadership decided to keep Eberflus around, even with top coaching talent available.
A slightly above-average six-week run to end the season shouldn’t be enough to keep Eberflus around for 2024. Especially when you have guys like Jim Harbaugh and Mike Vrabel just waiting for their phones to ring. With clear options to upgrade at Head Coach, Chicago seems content with mediocrity.
With Eberflus likely entrenched as the 2024 leader, the focus will be on getting a bright offensive coordinator who can turn everything around. However, that might be hard to do with the amount of pressure the coaching staff is facing. It’s quite obvious that 2024 will be a sink-or-swim season. Nearly all of that will come down to the performance of said offensive coordinator.
Hiring any assistant coach to suddenly fix the team is extremely risky. Just ask Brandon Staley and Kellen Moore of the Los Angeles Chargers. It’ll only make Eberflus’s seat even hotter for this upcoming season. Until then, Chicago will have to do the best with what they have.