Bears Named Among 5 Landing Spots for Super Bowl-Winning Eberflus Replacement

Matt Eberflus, Bears

Getty Head coach Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears.

Chicago Bears leadership has presented a united front when it comes to head coach Matt Eberflus and his job security, but all NFL relationships are defined by a limited sort of loyalty.

The Bears are bad. There is no other way to position it. They were bad last year (3-14) and aren’t on track to finish much better this time around (3-7), despite a huge infusion of spending and draft talent over the offseason.

The New England Patriots are also struggling (2-7), as they have for the most part since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady following the 2019 campaign.

The difference is that Bill Belichick is a future Hall-of-Fame coach while Eberflus is a converted defensive coordinator who has only been in the big job for a season and a half. Both teams are poised to potentially fire their head coaches at the end of the campaign, if not sooner, but Belichick will hit the market in high demand.

On Wednesday, November 8, Jeff Smith of Sports Illustrated listed the Bears among five potential destinations for Belichick in 2024 if the Patriots show him the door before then.

“The Bears are in year two with Matt Eberflus at the helm, and no matter how you spin it, a [6-21] record through your first [27] games is tough to swallow,” Smith wrote. “Chicago has dealt with injuries and inconsistent play at key positions, but it falls back on the head coach to make adjustments and changes.

“Barring a strong push over the second half of the season, the Bears will miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season. That very well could lead to a coaching change at Halas Hall.”

Patriots May Fire Bill Belichick as Early as Week 11

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach

GettyNew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reported on November 3 that the Patriots may part ways with Belichick if the team fails to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in a neutral site game in Frankfurt, Germany, this Sunday.

“Based on my conversations, I don’t think it’s 100 percent that Belichick finishes out this season,” Volin wrote. “These next two games before the bye are huge, particularly the Germany game, which is practically the team’s Super Bowl for the Krafts.

“If Belichick loses at home to the Commanders and then to the Colts, and comes home from Germany with a 2-8 record, I think there’s a chance the Krafts could make the move in the bye week and install Jerod Mayo as the interim coach for the final seven games.”

Belichick is arguably the best coach in NFL history and if the Patriots do fire him, several franchises will be interested. Belichick’s availability could even spur a team — such as the Bears, for instance — to fire a head coach it may have otherwise kept employed.

Bill Belichick Would Have Fewer Responsibilities With Bears

Bill Belichick, Patriots coach and architect

GettyNew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick has a career regular season record of 300-159, which slates him third all-time in that category behind only George Halas (318) and Don Shula (328). Belichick has also led the Patriots to nine Super Bowl appearances, capturing the title six times.

Part of his backslide in recent years has been the absence of Brady and part of it has been poor personnel decisions. New England has failed to draft well or to surround quarterback Mac Jones with meaningful skill-position talent through free agency. Those problems led to a 25-25 regular season record and just one playoff appearance (2021) across the first three years of Brady’s absence. As noted above, the Pats are 2-7 this season.

Were the Bears to hire Belichick, it is unlikely that second-year general manager Ryan Poles would afford him the same GM powers he had in New England. And given Belichick’s recent track record in that regard, the decision would probably be the right one.

That said, Belichick remains a brilliant defensive mind and a respected figure across the NFL. He will turn 72 years old ahead of next season, but despite his age if the Bears have a chance to hire him, Poles may feel they have to take it.