Matt Eberflus

Ryan Poles explains why the Bears decided to keep head coach Matt Eberflus

The Bears' GM addressed the reasoning why the team kept Matt Eberflus but fired five coaches on Wednesday

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On Wednesday, the Bears made a confusing, seemingly pigeon-holed move with their coaching staff.

The organization decided to move on from five coaches, including offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. They also fired quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, running backs coach Omar Young and assistant tight ends coach Tim Zetts.

But, they also opted to retain Matt Eberflus and the current defensive staff.

Why did they do that?

"Just in terms of his leadership and stability," Ryan Poles said of Eberflus on Wednesday. "I really think that the head coach needs to be able to captain the ship when the seas have storms and really keep everything settled. When you go through hard times and you can keep everyone together, that's the critical piece in a big market like this. You have to be strong. I mean, if he's jumping off the boat and everyone else starts jumping off the boat, it's a hot mess.

"The stability was a big piece of it. The detail that he coached with taking some of the mistakes from the game, bringing them into practice and making sure that we're doing things the right way. I saw a lot of progress in that. There's a reason why we went from three to seven wins. The player aspect of it is important, but also the detail and bringing the team together and sticking through those hard times allowed us to push through and you saw a lot of those happen towards the back end of the season. If it's not for him I don't think that's the case. I think it starts to crumble. Everyone starts to do their own thing. So to me, that was a critical piece in us."

Poles commends Eberflus for the way the team combated several hardships they faced throughout the season. He's right. To begin the season, the Bears were an absolute mess.

They began the season 0-4 with embarrassing losses to the Green Bay Packers, a blowout at Arrowhead Stadium to the Chiefs and a blown 21-point lead to the Denver Broncos at home.

They also went through coaching turnover during the season. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned from his position unexpectedly. The Bears also fired running backs coach David Walker for not living up to the organization's standards.

The Bears also cut ties with wide receiver Chase Claypool. Poles initially traded a second-round pick in the 2023 draft (became a de facto first-round pick) for Claypool. After one season with very little production, their faith remained in him. This season, after little production and seemingly little locker room value, they traded him to Miami.

After all of that, the Bears remained strong. They won five of their last eight games. The Bears won their last five games at home, too, finishing their home slate 5-3 this season. Justin Fields improved and the defense finished as one of the best in the league by the season's end.

That's a product of coaching. And that's what Poles was talking about when he said Eberflus "captained the ship," because the storms during the season were immense.

MORE: Bears keeping Matt Eberflus more of same from franchise that refuses to think big

But, with bringing back Eberflus, the Bears take on several risks. They're asking him to win in what will surely be a hot-seat season for the head coach. That makes hiring a new offensive staff extremely difficult, as their job status will be on the line upon arrival.

The Bears also admitted they haven't decided on whether or not they plan to retain Justin Fields or not. If they keep Fields, they're asking him to learn a third offense in four years. In that scenario, it's likely Eberflus will get two years and will remain the head coach as long as things are trending upward after Year 1.

But if the Bears draft a quarterback, that signal caller will come in with their head coach's job already on the line. That could unfold into a situation similar to Fields' first two years in the league. He started under head coach Matt Nagy, who was fired after his first season. Then, Fields was forced to adjust to Eberflus and Getsy.

The Bears placed themselves in a frivolous situation when retaining Eberflus. But he gained merit after weathering the Bears through several storms this season. For that, the Bears decided to reward him as a leader by allowing him to keep his job.

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