Bears hire Alan Williams as defensive coordinator


Matt Eberflus has found the man to lead his defense, as the Bears coaching staff continues to take shape. The Bears announced on Wednesday that they’ve hired Alan Williams to be their next defensive coordinator, and Dave Borgonzi to be their next linebackers coach. Each man was on Eberflus’ staff for his entire tenure as Colts defensive coordinator. Williams was the team’s safeties coach, and Borgonzi was the linebackers coach.

Under Williams and Eberflus’ leadership, Colts safeties have a solid track record of creating turnovers. Julian Blackmon, Malik Hooker and Khari Willis have all had two-interception seasons over the past four years. Hooker and Willis each notched two-interceptions, twice.

Colts head coach Frank Reich has seen traits in Williams that could help him take a larger role in leading the entire defense.

“Alan has really good command of the whole picture,” Reich said. “Alan is fast on his feet as a thinker. Listening, being on the headset and hearing Flus call the defenses, interact with the defensive staff, hearing Alan’s input, hearing the dialogue between he and Flus, how dynamic it was, how much Flus trusted him over those four years seeing that relationship develop. I just think Alan has great energy on the field. Watching Alan run drills on the field, he’s got good energy, good body language, got a good positive vibe to him, can connect.”

Eberflus has already clarified that he will not call defensive plays, so that he can focus on being a head coach. So it will be Williams calling the game on the defensive side.

Williams has 21 years worth of NFL coaching experience, starting in Tampa as a Buccaneers defensive assistant. In between his time in Tampa and his time as the Colts safeties coach he had another stint in Indy as their defensive backs coach, worked as the Vikings defensive coordinator and as the Lions defensive backs/safeties coach.

Borgonzi oversaw arguably the most important position group in Eberflus’ defense. He also helped develop Darius Leonard into a three-time All-Pro, and Bobby Okereke into an impact starter, as well. Borgonzi also worked alongside Eberflus for three seasons with the Cowboys.

“Under Eberflus, Williams and Borgonzi, the Colts were the only NFL defensive unit to be ranked in the top-10 in scoring, run defense and takeaways in each of the past two seasons,” the Bears said in a statement. “From 2018-21, the Colts finished in the top-10 in the NFL in run defense and takeaways. They also ranked in the top-10 in scoring defense in three of their four seasons with the organization and were the least penalized defense in the league in 2019 and 2021. In the past three seasons, the Colts have finished in the top-10 in run defense and reached the playoffs in two of the last four seasons (2018 and 2020). Last season, the Colts were tied for third in the NFL with 19 interceptions.”

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