The start to the Chicago Bears season hasn’t been pretty, at all. It has fans questioning a lot of things. Some of those being Justin Fields, Ryan Poles, and the new Bears coaching staff. We all know this year was supposed to be one of rebuilding, but many are disappointed in the overall performance, which in a lot of ways, can be reflected back on the coaches. I want to dive in and analyze the Bears coaching staff through the first 4 games.
Head Coach Matt Eberflus was certainly a surprising hire when it happened. Many wanted and expected an offensive coach like Brian Daboll, Mike McDaniel, or Nathaniel Hackett. Instead they hired the former defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts.
It became apparent quickly when Eberflus was hired that he wanted the identity to shift. He changed the defensive scheme and most notably, introduced the H.I.T.S. principle, which is the philosophy he wants the team to play by. Hustling, Intensity, Taking care of the ball and taking the ball away, and playing smart situational football. Through the start of the season, it seems like the team has bought in to what Eberflus is building and what he wants the football team to be. When he was first hired, it seemed like many were worried about when Eberflus said in a message to the team at his introductory press conference “Get your track shoes on, because we’re running”. It seems as if the players have accepted the challenge presented to them.
Eberflus isn’t doing any defensive playcalling, he’s left that to defensive coordinator Alan Williams, who was on Eberflus defensive staff in Indianapolis as the Safeties coach. It’s really hard in my opinion to make a judgement on the job that Williams is doing because of the true lack of talent he has to work with. The biggest problem for the Bears defense so far has been stopping the run. They are allowing 183 yards per game. The defensive line was the biggest concern on the defense heading into the season. The big signing on the first day of free agency was Defensive Tackle Larry Ogunjobi from the Cincinatti Bengals. He ended up never signing because of a failed physical. His replacement ended up being Justin Jones from the Chargers. Armon Watts was also added after final roster cutdowns. The pass defense is also a little bit hard to judge. Jaylon Johnson has only played in the first couple weeks of the season, but has missed time with a quad injury. Before he got hurt, he hadn’t been targeted. Kyler Gordon has had a rocky start to his career, giving up the most yards of any cornerback in the NFL. However, Gordon had his best game of his career against the Giants in week 4, giving up only 1 catch for 9 yards. Hopefully moving forward, that’ll be a confidence booster for him. In all, the Bears defense needs to find consistency so Alan Williams can get an honest evaluation.
The Bears offense has been quite odd to start the 2022 season. They have a top 3 run game in the NFL and a lot of that has to do with the run block scheming, which is designed by Luke Getsy. However, they have the worst passing attack in football and a lot of that is because of the playcalling, the pass protection, and the lack of talent at the receiver position. Nobody expected the offense to be elite, but they’ve seriously underperformed through the air. Fields hasn’t shown any signs that he’s the guy moving forward. By the 2nd year of a QB’s career, you’re usually able to see if they’re going to be good enough to be the long term answer moving forward. Fields hasn’t flashed his arm at all this season. He has to show something by the end of the year, or else, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus decided to move on, especially since they weren’t the ones who picked him in the 2021 draft.
Quite simply, it’s too early to tell if the Bears coaching staff is doing a good enough job. What the Bears have going on right now is a hard rebuild. That leaves a lack of talent to put on the field on a week to week basis. Starting in 2023, we’ll have a real chance to give this coaching staff a true evaluation since there will be a greater abundance of talent. Same goes for Justin Fields in my opinion, but I’m not the one making the Bears personnel decisions.