Matt Eberflus

As Matt Eberflus' future is questioned, here's how the Bears have handled coaching turnover

Is it time to break old habits?

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In its 100+ year history in the NFL, the Chicago Bears have never fired a head coach in the middle of the season.

Not once.

Have they thought about it? Probably. But they've always given coaches the benefit of the doubt, letting them see the whole season through before diligently making a decision about their future.

Rarely do teams stick to such policies.

Keep that in mind when thinking about head coach Matt Eberflus' future with the Bears. Rumors swirled Tuesday about the head coach getting a swift kick out the door if the Bears lose to the Washington Commanders on Thursday.

Similarly to two seasons ago, reports surfaced saying then-head coach Matt Nagy would definitely be fired after the Bears-Lions game on Thanksgiving Day. That game came and went without anyone losing their job.

It wasn't until January after the season did the Bears relieve Nagy, as well as then-general manager Ryan Pace of their respective duties from the team. Simply put, the Bears don't fire midseason; or, at least, they never have in the past.

The Bears are cognizant of this unwritten policy, too. George McCaskey explained why Nagy wasn't fired midseason that year and why the organization waited until the season's end.

"We were evaluating throughout the season," McCaskey said then in 2021. "We didn’t have any preconceived notions about a particular timeline or a particular timetable. Our evaluation was concluded last night and resulted in the decisions we announced this morning."

This season, compared to the end of Nagy's tenure, has begged more attention than it did then in 2021. Maybe ever.

Let's recap the Bears' season thus far through four weeks.

They opened up the season with an 18-point loss to the Green Bay Packers, surrendering nearly 40 points at home. It was outsiders' first look at the team. And it included elementary offense, lack of effort and poor football all around.

During Week 2, the Bears kept it close with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Down three points in the fourth quarter, however, Justin Fields threw a four-yard pick-6 on account of three straight screen play calls from offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

No surprise the following week. Taylor Swift's presence trumped the storyline of the Bears' 31-point loss to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Earlier that week, the Bears announced Alan Williams resigned from his position as defensive coordinator, leaving fans sorely confused about his untimely departure.

Then, heading into their home game against the Broncos --- which they insufferably lost --- the Bears asked Chase Claypool not to attend the game as a healthy scratch. They also announced he will not be at Halas Hall this week leading up to their Thursday night game against the Commanders and he will not play, either.

Just because the Bears have never fired a head coach midseason, does that mean they should, or won't, pull the trigger on making midseason changes?

"You can't say just because we've never done something that we will never do it," NBC Sports' Peter King declared on 670 The Score. "I don't know how things get much worse than they are around the Chicago Bears right now.

"I don't think Kevin Warren, or Ryan Poles, or the McCaskey's are going to say 'Well, we've never done this before so we can't do it.' They're going to look at their team and say 'Have we ever lost 14 games in a row before? I don't think so.'"

It seems Eberflus and his staff have caused enough turmoil this season to warrant change. That doesn't mean the Bears will cut things off midseason.

But it does mean someone's job is on the line this season.

"You cannot lose 14 games in a row and hang on to your job," King said. "I would not be surprised if it's a bad loss Thursday and the Bears make a change. Just wouldn't be surprised."

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