A new report by Brad Biggs with the Chicago Tribune makes one question if the team was able to hire their top choices for assistant coaches in January. The Bears needed to replace their offensive staff sans offensive line coach Chris Morgan and the defensive coordinator position.
Chicago Bears assistant candidates had one major draw
The Bears hired Shane Waldron as their offensive coordinator. Waldron had success with the 2022 Seattle Seahawks. However, Waldon isn’t a sexy household name one would have expected the Bears to try and land in a year they can draft the top quarterback prospect in the draft.
Per Albert Breer with Sports Illustrated, most offensive coordinator candidates were drawn to interview for the vacant position because of the prospect they could coach Caleb Williams next season. But there was another reason those same candidates had pause.
Matt Eberflus’ instability was a turn-off to potential hires
Biggs responded to a fan question about why former Seahawks wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal removed himself from being a candidate to join Waldron’s staff in Chicago. Biggs wrote he didn’t know Lal’s specific situation but he heard from multiple sources that coaches were turned off by Eberflus potentially being a lame-duck head coach coupled with the team’s uncertainty at quarterback:
The former Seattle Seahawks wide receivers coach was a candidate to join the Bears, and his addition would have made sense as he has worked with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Lal reportedly removed himself from consideration for the job. What went into that decision, I don’t know. The Bears are expected to hire Chris Beatty for the position. He has worked in the NFL for three seasons as the Los Angeles Chargers wide receivers coach.
I can tell you that after speaking with a wide variety of coaches around the league, some folks have concern that it might not be the most stable position with Matt Eberflus entering Year 3 and an uncertain quarterback situation. Assistants seeking work might prefer to hitch their wagon to a head coach entering Year 1.
The front office took a risk by retaining Eberflus
Biggs’ answer makes one wonder if Waldron was the Bears’ top choice at offensive coordinator. General manager Ryan Poles and President Kevin Warren made a risky decision to keep Eberflus for this very reason.
They knew it would be harder to attract talented assistants this offseason because of Eberflus’ win-loss record in his first two seasons. This scenario was talked about in the end-of-season presser.
Hopefully, the Bears’ quarterback situation won’t be further damaged by Poles and Warren’s decision to keep Eberflus this offseason. If they draft a rookie quarterback, one would assume they’re giving Eberflus more than one year. But a disastrous 2024 season, much like the start of 2023, could put an end to their grace for his regime.
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