The Chicago Bears are burning the midnight oil as the rumor mill churns.
First, reports of the team’s interest in interviewing Packers defensive assistant Jerry Gray for what was described as an “undefined defensive coaching position.” And a few hours later, a new report surfaces of the team’s interest in bringing back an old friend for an unspecified role.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets the Bears have put in a request to interview Washington Commanders Defensive Backs Coach Chris Harris:
Bears fans should be familiar with Harris. Jerry Angelo drafted Harris in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. From there, Harris played 44 games (39 starts) over four seasons (with two different stints) in Chicago. He also began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach on Marc Trestman’s staffs in 2013 and 2014. But Harris has since coached for the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers (2016-19), as well as the Washington Football Team and Commanders (2020-present). You can do worse than hitching your wagon to Ron Rivera’s bandwagon.
In recent years, Harris has interviewed for defensive coordinator positions. There was even a point when Harris was seen as a leader to get the Colts DC gig that was vacated by Matt Eberflus when he left for the Bears head-coaching position.
Again, the request for a Harris interview comes as the Bears are on the hunt for a new coach in their secondary. Former DBs Coach James Rowe left the team at the end of the season so he could coach at his alma mater, USF. Rowe’s departure opens a spot on Eberflus’ staff. And while Eberflus hinted at possible changes to his staff in the offseason, we’re now starting to get clarity as to what position he is looking to fill. Because in the span of a few hours, the Bears have reportedly put in requests to interview a pair of coaches who have a history in the secondary. I hardly find that to be coincidental.
UPDATE — The plot thickens:
It sounds like the Bears aren’t the only team in on this.