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HomeSportsBears coach Matt Eberflus to take over defensive play-calling duties; says Justin...

Bears coach Matt Eberflus to take over defensive play-calling duties; says Justin Fields was being a ‘leader’


Second-year Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus offered his first public comments since the abrupt departure of defensive coordinator Alan Williams and the remarks from quarterback Justin Fields about the coaching staff.

“I was with him four years, five years. I have a lot of friendship, feelings for him. He’s resigned, and it’s for health and family, and we’ll see where it goes from there. I have feelings for Alan Williams, of course,” Eberflus said Friday about Williams’ decision to step down.

Eberflus has experience coaching a defense. He was the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive coordinator for four seasons prior to taking over as head coach in Chicago. 

Williams handled the defensive play-calling responsibilities last season and during the first two games of 2023, but Eberflus will take over that job for the foreseeable future.

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Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams chat during practice June 8, 2022, at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill.  (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Eberflus said the Bears declined to go into more detail about Williams’ decision in an effort to respect his privacy.

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“It’s personal, so people are respecting space and respecting that, I believe,” Eberflus said.

Eberflus and the Bears’ defense will face the tough task of trying to slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in a Week 3 matchup Sunday.

Matt Eberflus in practice

Head coach Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of a preseason game at Soldier Field Aug. 13, 2022, in Chicago. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Eberflus characterized the recent controversial comments from Fields as an example of the quarterback’s leadership.

“Hey, that’s the way he felt,” Eberflus said. “He felt that was the right thing to do. I always tell them, ‘Hey, if you think something’s right and you want do right, step up and do it. If you see something that’s wrong, something that you can help with, step up and say it.’ That’s how you be a leader. That’s how you be a man and a team.

“It’s no disrespect to anybody. It’s just telling somebody the truth.”

Justin Fields at OTAs

Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears during OTAs at Halas Hall June 7, 2023, in Lake Forest, Ill. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Eberflus also mentioned he met with Fields this week and told the quarterback he supported his decision to speak out about the Bears’ offense.

On Thursday, Bears general manager Ryan Poles held an impromptu media session.

“No one in our entire building — none of our coaches — see Justin as a finger pointer,” Poles said. “The kid has always taken ownership of anything that has happened on the field. He takes it head-on. He grinds. He works [with all] to find solutions.”

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Poles added there is no sense of panic in the building.

“To make it really, really clear, I know the outside noise, but no one in our building is panicking. No one is flinching at any situations — not our owner, not our president, our head coach, not myself, none of our players. Everyone is focusing on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a better football team.”



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