On Thursday, the Bears formally introduced their new coordinator Cerberus: Special teams coordinator, Richard Hightower, defensive coordinator Alan Williams, and of course, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
These three men are new head coach Matt Eberflus’s primary delegates in building a Bears football program worth writing home about. The work ahead for all three will undoubtedly be arduous and demanding, but hey: That’s the effort it’s got to take to make the Bears a consistent contender again.
Here are some highlights from the extended presser held at Halas Hall (and over Zoom).
First came Williams, and he could not be more effusive in his praise of the Bears’ star pass-rushing duo, Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn.
New #Bears DC Alan Williams on coaching Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn:— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) February 10, 2022
"You have no idea how exciting it is to be here and have those guys."
There’s been some conversation about Eberflus’s now-infamous H.I.T.S. philosophy—a principle about hustle—that defined the Colts’ defense during his tenure. Williams, who coached under Eberflus as his defensive backs/safeties, maintained he’s also a major proponent of the philosophy.
It’s clear that as long as Williams is in Chicago, it will define the Bears’ defense, too.
New Bears DC Alan Williams on how Matt Eberflus got players to buy into his philosophy in Indy: "They didn't at first... because it was difficult." But he says little by little players saw how the H.I.T.S. philosophy (and hard work) translated into wins. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/nwGWDZyHqQ— Matt Zahn (@mattzahnsports) February 10, 2022
#Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams on his stamp for this defense.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) February 10, 2022
"The way we run to the ball and how we hustle."
"Do what they do best."
To switch back to a Cover-2 defensive scheme, the Bears will need to be strong at two specific positions: The weak-side linebacker (Roquan Smith) and the three-technique.
The latter will almost certainly be a core player in Williams’ defense.
"A good defense is build through the middle," #Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams on the importance of the 3 tech in this 4-3 defense.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) February 10, 2022
Williams said a 3 tech defensive lineman should be athletic, instinctive and has to stay on his feet.
After Williams came Hightower—A hire from the 49ers and the author of some recent greatest hits you might be familiar with.
Sorry (not sorry): I couldn’t resist.
That aside, given that Hightower coaches the third phase and depth players (who aren’t really in place in early February), most of the discussion with Hightower centered around Devin Hester’s Hall of Fame chances.
Hightower agrees with Chicagoland that Hester is an all-time great.
"When I came into the league in 2006, I was just watching him. He's phenomenal. In my opinion, he should be a first-ballot." - #Bears ST coordinator Richard Hightower on Devin Hester.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) February 10, 2022
Last but not least, the man of the hour primarily tasked with making Justin Fields a star quarterback: Luke Getsy.
The 37-year-old Getsy—a LaFleur/Shanahan/Moorhead disciple—could not have been more clear that he would design his offense around what Fields could do rather than fitting Fields into his scheme.
"The focus will be dialing into what he does best and matching that with the 10 other guys on the field and what they do best." - #Bears OC Luke Getsy on Maximizing Justin Fields' talent.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) February 10, 2022
Of course, it should be nothing unprecedented to see a coach like Getsy work to his quarterback’s strengths. But, well, cough, cough.
"We are going to build this thing around the quarterback position." - #Bears OC Luke Getsy.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) February 10, 2022
The entire off-season lies ahead for the Bears’ new brain trust of general manager Ryan Poles, Eberflus, Getsy, Williams, and Hightower. The end goal will be to make the smiles seen on Thursday afternoon a regular happening in Lake Forest.