The Chicago Bears have found their new head coach, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus had agreed to take the job. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirmed the report.
The 51-year-old Eberflus is a defensive mind who has spent the past four seasons as the Colts' defensive coordinator. Before his stint with the Colts, Eberflus spent 2011-17 with the Dallas Cowboys working as their linebackers coach and defensive passing game coordinator. He got his start in the NFL in 2009 working as the linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns. It's that linebackers experience that helped South Carolina State product Darius Leonard develop into one of the best in the game. Now, he's ready for his first head coaching opportunity.
The Colts had three winning seasons in four years with Eberflus leading the defense, and it was that side of the ball that kept the franchise balanced while they rode the quarterback carousel after Andrew Luck's surprising retirement. Indy's defense finished 16th this past season in terms of average yards allowed per game, and 8th last year.
This hire comes just one day after the Bears announced their new general manager hire in Ryan Poles. Chicago had been interviewing head coaches before deciding on a GM, however, and seemingly came up with three finalists in Eberflus, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. In the same hour of Eberflus' reported hiring, Quinn notified the Cowboys he would stay in Dallas for 2022 despite being one of the hottest coaching candidates in this year's cycle. Per Schefter, some around the league believed the Bears favored Caldwell for the open head coaching position due to his experience, but a deal didn't come to fruition.