Nov 19, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus on the sidelines against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bears retain Matt Eberflus, fire OC Luke Getsy

Head coach Matt Eberflus was retained for the 2024 season but his offensive coaching staff is getting a facelift, per multiple reports Wednesday.

Eberflus, 10-24 since being hired to replace Matt Nagy, parted with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko. He’s also been operating without a defensive coordinator since Alan Williams resigned in September.

Hiring coordinators could be tricky for Eberflus because he has only two years remaining on his original four-year contract.

Eberflus called defensive plays for the balance of the season and Chicago ranked in the top six in most major categories over the final 10 games of the season.

Under Getsy, the Bears finished 28th in total offense in 2022 and 20th in 2023.

The change also factors into the quarterback situation. Justin Fields would be learning yet another offense in what sets up as a possible make-or-break year.

Speculation about Fields’ future is rampant. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft and general manager Ryan Poles said before last year’s draft, when he swapped the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers for two first-rounders and wide receiver DJ Moore, that this year’s first-round pick was important in the trade because it could be used on a franchise quarterback.

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, US; New Chicago Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren speaks during the press conference at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Bears CEO Kevin Warren plans ‘methodical’ review of coach, team this month

Bears team president and CEO Kevin Warren offered no endorsements or rush judgments on the future of head coach Matt Eberflus.

Warren said he approves of the current energy around the Bears, who are 5-2 in the past seven games with a chance to score a damaging win Sunday at Green Bay that could knock the rival Packers out of the playoff field.

But Warren said he won’t make any decisions about Eberflus or other positions until he has ample time for a full review.

“You know, as we’ve said all along, we just continually will stay focused on finishing the season strong take a big picture, methodical look at everything,” Warren said Friday. “I’m looking forward to going to Green Bay tomorrow. Hopefully the team can keep playing well.”

The Bears hired Warren on Jan. 12, 2023, meaning he inherited the GM-coach power structure in place of Ryan Poles and Eberflus. Currently 10-23 as Bears head coach, Eberflus said Friday he believes the team is on the rise.

“I feel really good about the second half of the season, where the football team is going right now. I love the camaraderie and the relationships we’ve built,” Eberflus said about his feelings of a season-ending review from his bosses. “So, yeah, I feel good about it.”

Warren did reveal plans for a new stadium are progressing with more information likely to be revealed before the 2024 NFL Draft.

That’s when the next big decision for Warren and Chicago’s brass could come to pass.

The Bears own the No. 1 overall pick as part of a trade with the Carolina Panthers last April. Carolina moved up in the deal with the Bears to the No. 1 spot to draft quarterback Bryce Young.

At the top of many early draft boards sits a crowd of quarterbacks, which invites debate about whether the Bears might select Justin Fields’ replacement or draft a strong supporting cast around the third-year starter.

Chicago is 0-5 against the Packers since Fields’ arrival in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent (17) drops back to pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

QB1 still doubtful, Bears prepare Tyson Bagent for first start

Tyson Bagent operated the starting offense for the Chicago Bears at practice on Wednesday with the expectation he’ll be in that role Sunday when the Las Vegas Raiders visit Soldier Field.

Starter Justin Fields left last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter with a dislocated thumb on his right hand. Swelling is slowly subsiding but compromises Fields’ grip strength.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday there is no change to Fields’ status for Week 7: He’s doubtful and surgery remains a possibility. Eberflus said “clarity” on a long-term plan is expected sometime this week.

“Again, nothing’s off the table. Nothing’s on the table — right now. We’ve still got to see where it is,” Eberflus said.

Bagent was one of the remarkable stories of the preseason for the Bears. The undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University beat out PJ Walker, the former XFL QB who started for the Cleveland Browns last week, to back up Fields. Bagent scored a rushing touchdown but lost a fumble and threw a game-ending interception in the 19-13 loss to Minnesota.

“This is only going to be beneficial to him to get all these reps this week,” Eberflus said. “I’m excited to see where he is. I know the guys have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a very confident guy.”

Nathan Peterman is the third quarterback on the roster and would be active Sunday if Fields is out. Peterman, 29, has 13 interceptions in 13 career games, including five starts. He entered the NFL in 2017 with the Buffalo Bills and also played for the Raiders.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders’ Josh McDaniels new favorite to be first coach fired

Josh McDaniels is back on the hottest coaching seat in the NFL, at least according to oddsmakers.

The co-favorite before the season by SportsBetting.ag to be the first coach fired, McDaniels earned a reprieve when Las Vegas opened the season with a victory at Denver. However, that victory lost some of its luster due to the Broncos’ ongoing struggles while the Raiders have dropped their past two games.

Three weeks into the season, McDaniels is again the book’s favorite to be the first coach fired at +200.

Just behind him is Matt Eberflus at +225 with Chicago off to an 0-3 start and coming off a blowout loss to Kansas City. A loss at home this weekend to fellow 0-3 Denver would only ratchet the heat up further on Eberflus, who is a combined 3-17 in his second season in the Windy City.

The third-shortest odds belong to Washington’s Ron Rivera at +300. Despite a 2-1 start, the Commanders are coming off an uncompetitive loss at home to Buffalo and the new ownership group has made it clear that Rivera’s fate rests solely on wins and losses. Following a tough trip to Philadelphia in Week 4, Washington plays the Bears at home on a short week before traveling to Atlanta and the New York Giants.

Brandon Staley, who had the shortest odds last week, saw those lengthen to +1100 with the Chargers getting their first win of the season at Minnesota. Conversely, that game also shot the Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell up to +1000 with Minnesota off to an 0-3 start.

FIRST NFL COACH FIRED ODDS
Josh McDaniels (+200)
Matt Eberflus (+225)
Ron Rivera (+300)
Kevin O’Connell (+1000)
Brandon Staley (+1100)
Robert Saleh (+1200)
Sean Payton (+2500)
Todd Bowles (+2500)
Mike Vrabel (+2800)
Dennis Allen (+3300)
Mike McCarthy (+3300)
Frank Reich (+5000)
Kevin Stefanski (+5000)
Mike Tomlin (+7500)
Pete Carroll (+7500)
Arthur Smith (+10000)
Bill Belichick (+10000)
Brian Daboll (+10000)
Doug Pederson (+10000)
Jonathan Gannon (+10000)
Matt Lafleur (+10000)
Nick Sirianni (+10000)
Sean McDermott (+10000)
Sean McVay (+10000)
Shane Steichen (+10000)
Zac Taylor (+10000)
DeMeco Ryans (+15000)
John Harbaugh (+15000)
Dan Campbell (+20000)
Mike McDaniel (+50000)
Andy Reid (+100000)
Kyle Shanahan (+100000)

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles looks on before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears GM Ryan Poles: ‘No one is panicking’

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles presented a poised and unified picture of the franchise on Thursday less than 24 hours after a bizarre news cycle blended with rumors hinted at a complete unraveling of the 0-2 team.

“To hit it straight on, we have adversity right now,” Poles said of the state of the Bears, who visit the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

“To make it really, really clear, I know the outside noise — but no one in our building is panicking, no one is flinching at any situations. Not our owner, not our president, not our head coach, not myself. None of our players. Everyone’s focused on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a be a better team.”

Poles clarified those issues don’t involve any FBI search or operative stings, as was reported Wednesday before defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned citing “health and family” concerns.

“I don’t have many details to add there. Halas Hall being raided is completely false. Don’t know where that came from. We’ve worked with Kevin (Warren, team president) and George (McCaskey) and all our leadership to make sure we were handling it the right way, and everything concluded yesterday.”

Head coach Matt Eberflus, formerly defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, will call defensive plays.

“Got a ton of faith in Flus. He’s a leader. He’s done a great job. And then as a defensive play-caller as well, got a ton of faith there,” Poles said.

There are obvious and undeniable concerns from Warren, Poles and Eberflus around the staggered start from quarterback Justin Fields and Chicago’s offense. The Bears have four turnovers and four touchdowns in two games, losses to the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which they were outscored 65-37.

Fields, asked Wednesday to explain his statement that he was thinking too much and needed to play free, said “it could be coaching.” He apologized to coaches when some media reports claimed he said only “coaching,” without what Fields felt was proper context. Fields then held a brief post-practice session with media at Halas Hall to further explain he wants the blame for “everything.”

Poles said at present, Fields is learning how to rely on the new level of talent around him — No. 1 wide receiver DJ Moore, for example — and letting go of his habit of making every play himself.

“Now he gets talent around him and has to figure and balance when to do those cool things athletically, when to lean on others,” Poles said. “And that is sometimes a gray place to live in, and that takes time.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 25, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley reacts during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Staley, Matt Eberflus on hottest NFL coaching seats

Brandon Staley has long been one of the NFL’s most polarizing head coaches.

Known for his penchant for taking risks on fourth down, it’s his team’s ongoing habit of turning wins into losses that could land Staley in the unemployment line.

The Los Angeles Chargers decided to keep Staley despite blowing a 27-point lead at Jacksonville in last season’s playoffs — with the Jaguars staging the third-largest postseason comeback in NFL history.

The Chargers have also held fourth-quarter leads in both games to open the 2023 season, only to walk away with losses to Miami and Tennessee. They’re only a game out in the AFC West, where Kansas City and Las Vegas are 1-1, but Staley is now the +200 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be the first coach fired this season.

He opened the season at +1600, tied for the ninth-shortest odds. That was slightly behind Chicago’s Matt Eberflus, whose odds have shifted from +1400 to +400 following the Bears’ own 0-2 start. While Staley is in Year 3 in L.A., Eberflus is in just his second season in the Windy City, but has just three wins through his first 16 games.

Their stories differ significantly from that of Washington’s Ron Rivera. Despite the Commanders’ 2-0 start, Rivera’s odds at the book of being the first coach fired this season have actually shortened from +700 to +400.

The Commanders have opened with victories against Arizona and Denver, a pair of 0-2 teams that held leads against Washington. Rivera is also playing under a new ownership group that didn’t hire him, and the Commanders face a daunting schedule ahead that begins with Sunday’s home game against Buffalo followed by a trip to Philadelphia.

The next-shortest odds belong to Las Vegas’ Josh McDaniels. He was one of the co-favorites preseason, and is being offered at +500 despite the Raiders’ 1-1 start.

FIRST NFL COACH FIRED ODDS
Brandon Staley (+200)
Matt Eberflus (+400)
Ron Rivera (+400)
Josh McDaniels (+500)
Kevin O’Connell (+1200)
Robert Saleh (+1400)
Dennis Allen (+2500)
Mike Vrabel (+2500)
Todd Bowles (+2500)
Jonathan Gannon (+3300)
Kevin Stefanski (+3300)
Mike Tomlin (+3300)
Sean Payton (+3300)
Zac Taylor (+3300)
Bill Belichick (+4000)
Pete Carroll (+5000)
Frank Reich (+6600)
Matt Lafleur (+6600)
Mike McCarthy (+6600)
Sean McDermott (+6600)
Shane Steichen (+6600)
Arthur Smith (+10000)
Brian Daboll (+10000)
Dan Campbell (+10000)
DeMeco Ryans (+10000)
Doug Pederson (+10000)
John Harbaugh (+10000)
Sean McVay (+10000)
Mike McDaniel (+20000)
Nick Sirianni (+25000)
Andy Reid (+50000)
Kyle Shanahan (+50000)

Staley said following Sunday’s loss against the Titans that last season’s loss to the Jaguars “hasn’t carried onto the season whatsoever.”

The fact remains the Chargers are 0-2 and it won’t take much for their season to spiral out of control.

They travel to Minnesota for a Week 3 game against an equally desperate 0-2 Vikings team. Following a home game against McDaniels’ Raiders, the Chargers play host to Dallas and return home to face Kansas City.

Whether Staley survives to see the conclusion of his third season in L.A. could well ride on where the Chargers are sitting after Week 6.

“It’s a convenient storyline for you and for everybody else, but it’s not the truth,” Staley said of any potential carryover from the Jacksonville loss. “We’ve lost two tough games but the guys in that locker room, the men in that locker room they are finishers and they have what it takes and we’re excited to prove ourselves.”

Meanwhile, the two men McDaniels shared the shortest odds with ahead of the season have seemingly worked their way to cooler chairs thanks to 2-0 starts.

Dallas has begun the season with a pair of impressive blowout victories, leading coach Mike McCarthy’s odds to go from +600 to +6600. And Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles is now +2500 following the Buccaneers’ opening two wins against Minnesota and Chicago.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams on the sidelines during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Bears DC Alan Williams out Sunday for personal reasons

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams will miss Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay for personal reasons.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said Friday that he will fill in for Williams when the Bears (0-1) meet the Buccaneers (1-0).

There is no timetable for a return for Williams, 53, who is in his second season leading the Chicago defense.

Williams began his NFL coaching career as an assistant with the Buccaneers in 2001. He has also worked for the Indianapolis Colts (2002-11, 2018-21), Minnesota Vikings (2012-13) and Detroit Lions (2014-17).

Eberflus was the defensive coordinator for the Colts from 2018-21 before becoming the head coach of the Bears.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Rebuild-a-Bears: GM eyes ‘playmakers’ with $100M cap surplus, No. 1 pick

General manager Ryan Poles can transition to rebuild-a-Bears mode, and his riches are boundless after Chicago claimed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft.

“Everyone should be excited about the direction we’re about to go,” Poles said Tuesday.

The Bears lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday to finish the 2022 season with a 3-14 record, leapfrogging the Texans in the draft order because of Houston’s last-second win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The finale put a promising bow on the 2022 season, a year in which the franchise parted with defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith to shed salary cap space and increase draft capital. Poles and the Bears are projected to hit free agency in March with an NFL-best $102 million under the salary cap, pending final NFL-tabulated cap figures used to set franchise tag values in February.

Poles said the Bears will make measured decisions on spending and “be sound in free agency,” using an approach of adding players they evaluate as difference-makers as opposed to tracking down available players who fit roster needs. Running back David Montgomery, scheduled to be a free agent, is one player the Bears stated Tuesday they’d like to have back.

But Poles said that would be the case only if “common ground on the contract” is found.

Worth noting, the Bears were never close to finding a shared view of market value with Smith as the trade deadline approached in October. He’ll start at inside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s playoffs.

Field Level Media rates Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson as the top prospect in the draft, but a trio of quarterbacks — Bryce Young (Alabama), CJ Stroud (Ohio State) and Will Levis (Kentucky) — could bring multiple trade suitors to Poles’ doorstep. Poles and Colts general manager Chris Ballard are friends and former associates from their time sharing office space in the Kansas City Chiefs’ scouting department.

Quarterback isn’t considered a need for the Bears with 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields at the controls. Poles would not entirely rule out drafting a quarterback at No. 1, but his visible reaction indicates Poles might need some work on his demeanor during smokescreen season.

“I’d have to be absolutely blown away to make that type of decision,” Poles said.

Fields and Poles are in regular contact and the quarterback said as part of a season-ending exit interview that he has confidence the Bears are ready to ramp into contention.

“I know Ryan has a great understanding of what needs to be done around here, what holes we might need to fill and stuff like that,” Fields said. “That’s not my job to control any of that.”

Apropos of the planning discussion with Fields, Poles said winning more games in 2023 requires more playmakers.

“To get better. We need to win more games. Some of those tight games, I want to finish. Bringing in more playmakers is going to allow us to do that. The expectation is to take that next step,” Poles said. “We want to make decisions that can last a long time.”

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, right, during day 6 of the Colts preseason training camp practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Colts Preseason Training Camp

Colts DC Matt Eberflus plans to beat Jaguars, then interview to be HC

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus plans to continue preparations for beating the Jacksonville Jaguars rather than prioritizing an interview to replace Urban Meyer as the franchise’s head coach.

Eberflus said Tuesday he wants to keep his focus on the Colts and making the postseason, extracting himself from the interview process with the Jaguars prior to the regular-season finale.

Eberflus is in his fourth season as defensive coordinator of the Colts and previously interviewed for vacancies with the New York Jets, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns.

An NFL rule change for this coaching cycle permits assistant coaches to conduct interviews for head coaching vacancies in the final two weeks of the regular season rather than delaying those talks until mid-January.

“That situation came up last week when the slip came through to speak to them,” Eberflus said Tuesday afternoon. “We decided as an organization – Chris (Ballard) and I and Frank (Reich) – that we were going to postpone that until afterwards. We’re just focusing on this week. Obviously playing to get into the playoffs.”

Eberflus, 51, said he’s still interested in joining the interview process in Jacksonville. The Jaguars requested permission to interview more than a dozen coaches.

Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, formerly head coach of the New York Jets, already interviewed with the team.

Former Colts and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett are also known candidates.

–Field Level Media