The Chicago Bears have decided to retain head coach Matt Eberflus for 2024, but fired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and most of the offensive coaching staff in a major shakeup following a disappointing 3-14 season.
Eberflus Survives After Speculation About Job Security
There had been much speculation about Eberflus’ job security after the Bears limped to the worst record in franchise history in his first season. However, general manager Ryan Poles announced that he would be sticking with Eberflus to lead the rebuild.
“Matt has led this team through an incredibly difficult season with integrity and poise,” Poles said in a statement. “I still believe he is the right coach to develop our young roster.”
Many were surprised by the decision after Chicago ranked near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories under Eberflus and Getsy’s leadership. But players reportedly lobbied ownership to keep the defensive-minded head coach.
“The players respect him and enjoy playing for him,” a source told ESPN. “He kept the locker room together even when losses piled up.”
Getsy Fired After Underwhelming Performance as Play Caller
While Eberflus will return, Getsy was not so lucky. The offensive coordinator and play caller was fired after the Bears offense regressed in most statistical categories.
Getsy had joined the Bears after serving as the quarterbacks coach for the rival Green Bay Packers. The move was intended to pair a bright young offensive mind with young quarterback Justin Fields.
But the results never materialized on the field, as evident by these offensive ranks:
|Points per game
|Total yards per game
|Rushing yards per game
|Passing yards per game
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but ultimately it became clear that a change at offensive coordinator was necessary,” Poles said. “We need to put Justin Fields and our offense in the best position to succeed.”
In addition to Getsy, quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko and receivers coach Tyke Tolbert were also relieved of their duties.
What’s Next for Fields and the Offense?
While Eberflus remains part of the puzzle, the Bears now face critical questions about how to build around Fields on offense.
Poles indicated that no decision has been made about Field’s future. But the firing of Getsy signals that the front office still believes the former Ohio State star can develop into a franchise quarterback.
“We’re going to do what’s best for the organization and put the team in the best position moving forward,” Poles said when asked about Fields. “I want Justin to be successful, but ultimately we have to do what’s best for the Bears.”
Still, Fields will now be playing for his third offensive coordinator in as many years. Finding continuity and stability at that position is paramount to his growth.
Among the top candidates linked to the opening already are Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Seahawks OC Shane Waldron and former Colts head coach Frank Reich. All three would represent an upgrade in experience from Getsy.
Bieniemy has been a hot name in recent years given his role in developing Patrick Mahomes. Waldron runs an innovative scheme that maximizes quarterback strengths. And Reich has succeeded with multiple quarterbacks.
Whoever is hired will have a tall task trying to turn around the league’s worst offense with a patchwork offensive line and lack of elite skill talent aside from Fields. For the former No. 11 overall pick to make strides, the front office must make upgrading weapons and protection a priority this offseason.
If Fields shows improvement under a new OC in 2024, his future in Chicago seems secure. But another lost season could force Poles to ponder using the team’s likely high 2025 draft pick on a quarterback. The pressure is on for Fields in a critical Year 3.
More Exits Expected on Defense Too
While the offense is being overhauled, change may also come to Eberflus’ beloved defense.
The Bears ranked 25th in scoring defense and had the second-fewest takeaways last season. Personnel certainly played a part, but Eberflus is likely to make adjustments to his staff there too according to reports.
Possible departures include defensive coordinator Alan Williams and linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi. Replacement names will emerge soon, with Eberflus promising decisions in the coming weeks.
“We will conduct an extensive search to add offensive and defensive coordinators who will put our players in the best position to win,” Eberflus said.
The dominoes are just beginning to fall as the Bears try to rise from the NFC North basement. How Poles and Eberflus piece together the offensive staff and address roster holes figures to make or break their regime and Fields’ future.
One thing is clear – more major changes are still ahead this offseason. So buckle up, Bears fans.
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