The Bears are beginning the search for both an offensive and defensive coordinator for the 2024 season. General manager Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus addressed the media on Wednesday and discussed the process of filling those vacancies.
"We're looking forward to looking at and talking to and hiring a new offensive coordinator that's going to improve our team," Eberflus said, "and that's going to do a great job improving and being aggressive and doing the things that it takes to win football games.
"And then obviously we have to hire another position on the defense, the defensive coordinator position. We're also excited about that opportunity. Both things are highly coveted positions. Our phones have been blowing up with people trying to contact us. We'll go through that process as we go, but we're certainly excited about that."
On the offensive side, Eberflus detailed the traits he's looking for in searching for coordinator candidates, citing innovation and teaching ability as the main attributes.
"Obviously you want to have somebody that's a great teacher," Eberflus said. "I think that's important because you know he has to coach the coaches to coach the position. And I think that's the No. 1 trait of any great coach – you have to be able to have the innovation to really look at the players that you have and be able to help enhance and put those guys in position to succeed and to get explosives and to move the ball down the field."
Eberflus was pleased with the ascension of the Bears defense throughout the 2023 season, but he told reporters the overall "growth and development and the improvement" of the offense wasn't where it needed to be" which led to offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko, receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, running backs coach Omar Young and assistant tight ends coach Tim Zetts being relieved of their duties. Eberflus also clarified that offensive line coach Chris Morgan, assistant offensive line coach Luke Steckel, tight ends coach Jim Dray and offensive quality control coach Zach Cable have been retained, saying they "have done a really good job in the growth and development of their positions."
Searching for an offensive coordinator that can work with any style of quarterback and adapt on the fly will be a key part of the Bears' selection process.
Poles said he wants to hear candidates discuss how they would teach and implement a scheme around different types of quarterbacks.
"I've got a lot of faith in the process. We're going to get kicked off in terms of finding the right fit," Poles said. "And we talked about it a little bit, but the ability to be adaptable to the talent that you have is critical. I think Matt hit it, and we saw it across the league. There were some teams that actually got better with a lot of changes. If you don't have the ability to adapt and adjust to the talent that you have at that position, it makes it really hard. So that's going to be a part of our process."
Eberflus said he is keeping an open mind when it comes to evaluating the type of offensive scheme he wants to bring in. What is most important to the head coach is building an identity on the offensive side of the ball while also having the ability to be multi-dimensional.
"I think you have to have identity, for sure, but you also have to be able to adjust," Eberflus said. "You have to be able to stand on something. Running the football is one of them and I also think that being adjustable and adaptable is another one. The explosives, which I think was referred to there, is how you score points. We're going to have to continue to grow that way."
As for the defense, Eberflus "feels really good" about that group of coaches on that side of the ball. While Eberflus called defensive plays for the Bears the majority of the season and said it's something he love to do there is no decision yet on who will be the play-caller in 2024. He told reporters "as we talk to these candidates, we're going to keep everything open right now."
In terms of the defensive coordinator position, Eberflus is looking for an opportunity to enhance the staff as a whole.
"It's got to be a good fit," Eberflus said. "But you're looking for an all-star staff on both sides. Dynamic, guys that can take the classroom to the drill work and then put that on the field. That position is going to be tying that together, and of course working with me to do that. It's important that we find the right person that has great character, [is a] great motivator, that can be in front of the room when I'm not in there when I'm with the offense or preparing for something else, working in other levels of the building."
President & CEO Kevin Warren also spoke to reporters Wednesday and expressed his confidence in the Bears finding top candidates for the vacant roles.
"I can just attest to what's happened with the number of calls and outreach that I've had to me, people I know in the league," Warren said. "People are excited about the Chicago Bears. They love the talent that we have. They love the draft capital that we have to be able to use. They love our salary cap situation. They appreciate the stability of the ownership of over 100 years. This is a very, very unique opportunity. Even the stadium development project plays into that.
"I don't think we'll have a problem at all getting world-class candidates, not only from an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach standpoint and a defensive coordinator standpoint. This is a job that people are excited about to come here, and we have a lot of talent. It's always exciting to join an organization when you're on the upswing to be able to help take it to the top."