The staff assembled by new Bears coach Matt Eberflus seems capable in many ways and disappointing in others.
The hiring of Eberflus himself earned the team criticism from those who believe someone on the attacking side was needed to generate the kind of scoring jolt needed to go from the bottom of league offenses to the top. .
The hiring of more unknowns also drew criticism from the Bears when more accomplished coaches appeared on their roster, such as finalists Jim Caldwell and Dan Quinn or non-finalists Doug Pederson and Brian Flores.
Still, Eberflus has his supporters across the league as the type of coordinator who can make the step after years of hard work as a coordinator or position coach.
Not all successful coaches have to be retreads or a former offensive coordinator.
The key was going to be strong personnel and a vision of what he wanted the Bears to be.
The hiring is done. Here’s how Eberflus did it.
The 2022 Bears coaching staff
The Head Coach: Matt Eberflus
Defensive coordinator: Alain Williams
Offensive coordinator: Luc Getsy
Special Teams Coordinator: Richard High Tower
Quarterback Coach: Andre Janocko
Wide Receiver Coach: Tyke Tolbert
Offensive Line Coach: Chris Morgan
Assistant offensive line coach: austin king
Offensive Quality Control: Omar Young
Defensive Quality Control: Ronell Williams
Linebackers Coach: David Borgonzi
Defensive backs coach: james rowe
Assistant Defensive Backs Coach: David Overstreet II
Safety coach: Andre Curtis
Defensive Line Coach: Travis Smith
Assistant defensive line coach: Justin Hind
Tight ends trainer: Jim Dray
Assistant Tight Ends Coach: Tim Zetts
Running Backs Coach: David Walker
Assistant Special Teams Coach: Carlos Polk.
Coaching assistant: Kevin Koch
Bears staff hiring gradation
There’s a lot of experience on that staff – it’s just not experience of what their current roles will be or experience of winning Super Bowls.
Eberflus was never a head coach and served as an NFL coordinator for four years with one team. Getsy has never served as the NFL’s offensive coordinator, although he did one year in college and coached seven years in the NFC North. He’s coached quarterbacks, so that will help deal with Justin Fields. There is, however, no evidence that he can develop into a quarterback. After all, Aaron Rodgers was already a star when he arrived in Green Bay. Hightower paid his dues and served as special teams coordinator for five seasons. Tolbert has been in the NFL as a positional coach since 2003, but never as a passing play coordinator and now fills that dual role. Although Walker has been a position coach for two teams, he hasn’t been in the NFL at all for three years. Dray is totally inexperienced, making his first attempt at being in charge of tight ends. Travis Smith has plenty of experience as a defensive assistant and three years as a defensive line assistant, but was never the team’s primary defensive line coach. This is an essential task, especially when a team goes from a 3-4 to a 4-3. The Bears discovered the importance of a defensive line coach when they had Jay Rodgers, who chaired their effective defensive line in 2018. He left in 2021 for the Chargers and their run stopping ability plummeted.
Past success: C+
Granted, Getsy was part of the success in the NFC North on the Green Bay staff, and the Eberflus Colts defense racked up turnovers while ranking in the top half of the league most time. However, neither was on a staff that made the Super Bowl. Williams was defensive coordinator at Minnesota and had a good year and a terrible year, but failed to qualify for a conference title game. As the positional coach of the Colts, however, he won a Super Bowl ring against the Bears. Kirk Cousins’ effectiveness improved working with Janocko, but the only real playoff success the Vikings had during the Janocko era was making the NFC Championship Game in 2017, where they were buried by Philadelphia. Janocko was also not coaching quarterbacks at the time. Morgan has been involved in extremely successful running attacks as an offensive line coach with two Super Bowl qualifiers and knows the secrets of the league’s most popular blocking tendency.
The vision: B
Eberflus has a very well thought out defense plan in terms of the HITS philosophy, and saw it work in Indianapolis. The Colts have been in the top 10 takeout four straight years, a stat generally considered more hit and miss than anything. They apply a system to measure player success in terms of hustle, intensity, takeaways or ball care, and smart play. The system can also be applied to measure the success of offensive and special teams. Getsy brings wide zone blocking to Shanahan’s offenses, as well as past success since the Packers built a passing offense around Aaron Rodgers in 2019. There are issues with hiring a coach- defensive leader in a league determined to increase the score, but if the coach also has an attacking mind with the ability to manage the other side of the ball, then it can work. Many great NFL coaches have come from the defensive end and found offensive minds with specific and effective plans to elevate the team. Bill Belichick is the classic example. The NFL Coach of the Year for this season was Mike Vrabel, who didn’t play or coach offensively before going to Tennessee.
It is an essential but often underestimated part of building coaching teams. It’s more than just networking for the purpose of getting hired. Getting coaches who are connected to each other at some point in the past is helpful when they start working together. There is a more immediate continuity. Eberflus knew almost all of his defensive coaches because they were in Indianapolis. This will help implement the HITS philosophy on this side of the ball. Two of the defensive backs coaches worked for the Eberflus in Indianapolis so they are familiar with 2 coverage techniques that the Bears will use well. Getsy hasn’t coached Janocko but has coached him and knows him. Janocko was a quarterback at Pitt when Getsy was a graduate assistant coach there under Dave Wannstedt. Morgan coached with Getsy boss in Green Bay, Matt LaFleur, as well as others who helped create Shanahan’s style of offense in Washington and Atlanta.
The running game and offensive line haven’t been good in Chicago since Nagy’s arrival, even though league stats sometimes said otherwise. They haven’t been a team that can run when needed against better defences, and have only done so against weaker fronts. The Dowell Loggains-John Fox coaching staff didn’t do much, but producing a solid running offense with Jordan Howard was one of those things. So hiring an offensive line coach who knows how to implement the wide zone scheme and Shanahan-style approach that the Bears will pursue could lead to the end of a problem.
Bringing in an offensive coordinator from a rival team with a history of success under two training regimes is a stroke of genius.
Defensive issues stemmed more from personnel issues and it’s now up to Ryan Poles to address them under a different scheme. Eddie Goldman struggled last year, Akiem Hicks ages, secondary has two legitimate NFL starters out of five starting positions. These are not training issues. Another issue the Bears faced was how long they had been using the same 3-4 Vic Fangio defensive approach. It had been seven years. Opponents are starting to know what you’re doing, so a change won’t hurt in that regard.
Overall rating: B-
If the Bears announced they were hiring Getsy as head coach, there would likely be more fans excited about the 2022 outlook than there are now, because the head coach would then come from the offensive end.
The only problem with hiring Getsy as a coordinator beyond the limited experience of play calls is that if he is successful, they can anticipate that he will be one of the first coaches hired next year. by a losing team. It’s not a situation they can worry about now. You don’t hire people hoping they fail.
This season should come down to how Janocko and Getsy handle Fields’ development and how quickly Eberflus can convert the defense to his 4-3 style of play.
Eberflus will do all this with a staff much more qualified in many respects than that hired by Nagy. Nagy twice hired an offensive coordinator and an offensive line coach who hadn’t been in the NFL the previous year. His first offensive coordinator, Mark Helfrich, had never been in the NFL, but had at least played professionally. He played for the Vienna Vikings of the Austrian Football League.
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