While the Chicago Bears’ quest for a new coach and GM is casting a wide net, I’m seeing one team pop up in connection because it has several candidates worth interviewing.
One of the NFL's most respected assistants, Eberflus also will interview with the #Jaguars on Saturday.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2022
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports the Bears have asked to interview Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus. It’s another hiring cycle where Eberflus is a popular candidate for teams to check in on. Last year, Eberflus had the Texans, Jets, and Chargers show interest. Fast forward a year, and the Jaguars join the Bears in wanting to see what’s up with Indy’s defensive play-caller.
Eberflus, 51, really jumped into our line of vision with his work building this Colts defense. Out-scheming Bill Belichick in an island game late in December will do that for ya.
Indy’s unit ranked ninth in scoring defense, had the second most takeaways, and finished eighth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA ranking. At the heart of the Colts defense is linebacker Darius Leonard, a two-time first-team All-Pro who has been racking up tackles, stops, and splash plays since arriving on the scene in 2018. And suddenly, I’m curious to see what Eberflus could do with Roquan Smith as the man in the middle. Of course, a head coach has more responsibilities than just running a defense. But dreaming about a defense that takes a leap after falling to the middle of the pack will warm me up on a cold winter afternoon—especially knowing that Eberflus played for Nick Saban and coached with Rod Marinelli, Rob Ryan, and Eric Mangini. That is a collection of defensive minds to rattle off in an interview.
In theory, the Bears could interview Eberflus early in the process because the Colts didn’t make the playoffs. Late season losses to the Raiders and Jaguars kept Indianapolis on the outside looking in. Moreover, the Bears could conceivably target a pair of Colts options as a package deal if they see a fit. In the end, I still have an interest in the Bears chopping it up with Eberflus. And I hope the feeling is mutual.