Let me start off this column by saying that Matt Eberflus is not a horrible head coach, he’s just not a particularly good head coach. He did some good things this year, and some things that leave a lot to be desired.
It’s easy to like Matt Eberflus for his winning culture in the locker room if you ignore that two of his assistant coaches were let go for HR violations.
It’s easy to like Matt Eberflus for taking accountability over his horrible play call dropping Justin Jones in coverage against Cleveland with the game on the line if you ignore the countless times before that he pointed the fingers at his players and never himself throughout the season.
It’s easy to like Matt Eberflus for winning 4 of 6 to finish the year if you ignore the fact that he started off the season 0-4 and ended the Bears season before it ever really began.
It’s easy to like Matt Eberflus for finally winning 2 divisional games if you ignore the fact that your 103-year rival embarrassed you both times you faced them this year.
It’s easy to like Matt Eberflus for winning 4 more games than he did last year if you ignore the fact that he blew 3 double-digit 4th quarter leads this year, 2 of them in historic fashion.
It’s really easy to create a really positive view of your head coach if you just ignore all the negatives from the season.
George McCaskey, Kevin Warren and Ryan Poles had an opportunity to do something bold and tell Matt Eberflus that he did a good job but that it wasn’t good enough.
They had an opportunity to draft an excellent QB prospect, and line him up with an offensive-minded head coach and let the two of them grow together.
Instead, they will most likely bring in a rookie QB in Matt Eberflus’ 3rd season that could be considered a win now season, or he could lose his job. That’s how it was for Matt Nagy with rookie Justin Fields. That’s how it was for John Fox with rookie Mitch Trubisky.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
There is no guarantee that if a rookie quarterback is here in 2024 that he will fail. But not aligning the QB and head coach is the first step in the “how to ruin a QB” playbook.
For some reason, I had hopes that with Kevin Warren here and Ryan Poles seemingly having a good process, that they would understand the importance of how to stabilize a franchise moving forward.
Kevin Warren preaches continuity, but is it continuity when Eberflus returns, but basically, half of his coaching staff was fired this year?
Is it continuity if the Chicago Bears are in an impossible spot and underachieve in 2024 and could be forced to fire the staff, including Eberflus, and have their rookie QB start over in year two?
Is it continuity if you keep Justin Fields and force him to learn his third offense in 4 years?
The fish rots at the head, and even with Warren and Poles here, the constant that remains is George McCaskey. How much was he involved in this decision to retain Eberflus? Maybe not at all, but in the end, the wrong decision was made yet again on George’s watch.
As a Bears fan, I have no choice but to root like hell for Matt Eberflus. He isn’t a bad guy, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be the right guy for the job. Hopefully, he can grow into this position and become one of the better coaches in the league (right now, he’s the worst coach in his division). Success for the Bears would be a lot sweeter than an “I told you so” on Twitter.
Hopefully, Eberflus is the man for the job. Hopefully, he changes his conservative approach to offense, learns how to hold onto leads, does a better job of in-game adjustments, and is here for the next ten years.
Hopefully, the Bears find the right offensive coordinator who can develop and unlock the quarterback position and finally solve the mystery that has plagued the Bears franchise for 75 years.
Hopefully, this all works out, and my concerns are all for naught.
Hopefully, this is different, and the Bears are not repeating history.
But I have the sneaking suspicion that the Bears blew a golden opportunity and are, in a word, Eberflucked.