Bears hire Eberflus: Return to Lovie style principles


Well, as George McCaskey has said before, Ryan and Matt are the Chicago Bears’ football guys.

The first names haven’t changed, but the last names — and hopefully a lot more — will.

New Bears general manager Ryan Poles made his first huge decision Wednesday morning when he opted to hire Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as his head coach, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the news.

Here’s a quick reaction:

Eberflus has been a highly respected candidate for a few years now, and while he’s a first-time head coach, he’s 51 years old with a lot of experience at both the college and pro level. 

While Eberflus never worked with Lovie Smith, the Bears are going to see a return to many of the same philosophies that worked in the Lovie years. Eberflus constantly preaches gang tackling and running to the ball on every single snap. He uses the term “loaf” when players are caught not hustling, which was something Smith used in Chicago.

Eberflus got that from Rod Marinelli, who he worked with in Dallas. In fact, Marinelli, now 72, might be a name to watch for Eberflus’ staff, depending on what happens with the Raiders. Marinelli is currently the Raiders’ defensive line coach. 

Of course, Eberflus runs a 4-3 defense, which means a scheme change is coming. The good news is that the Bears’ top defensive players — including Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith and Jaylon Johnson — should be able to easily transcend scheme. Quinn always preferred playing as a 4-3 defensive end anyway. 

The big question now becomes, who does Eberflus hire as his offensive coordinator?

Bears fans don’t need to be reminded of the revolving door of OCs that came through Chicago during the Lovie years.

We’ll learn more in the coming days about why Poles’ targeted Eberflus. They both share Trace Armstrong as an agent, but Poles is also close to Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who gave Eberflus a ringing endorsement, one source said.

Current Colts linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi is also the brother of Chiefs assistant GM Mike Borgonzi. The connections there are easy to spot.

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