The Bears are reportedly doing their due diligence in case they decide to move forward with a different coaching staff in 2024. According to Dianna Russini, the Bears have at least discussed bringing in Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh if he decides to leave college ball.
“The Chicago Bears are another organization I have heard has had some conversations about that, depending on what decision they make with this coaching staff that’s in place, and of course what they do with that quarterback situation,” Russini said on FS1.
This of course should not be interpreted as an indication that the Bears have already decided to move on from head coach Matt Eberflus. Nor should it be interpreted as proof positive that Harbaugh is on his way back to the NFL. Seemingly every year since Harbaugh took the Wolverines job in 2015, his name has been bandied about in coaching search rumors.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Whether the Bears retain Eberflus moving forward remains to be seen, but there are a few reasons to believe he should keep his job. To start, the Bears have already eclipsed their 2022 win total and they have five games left to stack more wins. In addition, the defense has vastly improved from last year since Eberflus added defensive coordinator responsibilities to his typical head coaching duties. Last year the team’s run defense ranked tied for 26th in rushing yards per attempt (4.9), 31st in total yards (2,674) and 32nd in rushing touchdowns allowed (31). Beyond that, Eberflus has not lost the locker room. Players still buy into his messaging and vision for the team.
Of course there are some red flags that might encourage the Bears to move on to a new head coach. The team has been plagued by penalties all season, and according to the NFL Penalties database, they rank in the top-10 in both offensive and defensive pre-snap penalties. That lack of discipline is a reflection of the head coach. Some cite Eberflus’ franchise-worst .241 winning percentage and their franchise-worst 14-game losing streak as reasons why Eberflus should be fired– and ultimately coaches are judged on their win-loss record. However, Eberflus was playing with a short deck after GM Ryan Poles stripped an already talent-needy roster down to the studs.
The Bears have never fired a head coach in the middle of a season, so if they do decide to fire Eberflus, a move likely wouldn’t come until January.