Bears Reportedly Targeting Former Rival Coach

George Edwards Bears DC interview

Getty Former Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards

The Chicago Bears are beginning to compile a list of potential candidates to replace recently retired defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, and they’ve reportedly added a second name to the list: current Dallas Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards. Chicago is also slated to interview Indianapolis Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon for the vacant position.

ESPN’s Todd Archer, who broke the news, also noted that Edwards isn’t someone the Cowboys want to let go: “Because it is for a coordinator’s job, the Cowboys cannot block the request, but the organization wants to keep Edwards, who spoke with Mike McCarthy about the Cowboys’ coordinator job before it went to Dan Quinn,” Archer wrote.

Williams, who the Bears are very familiar with from his stint as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 2014-19, went to Minnesota when Mike Zimmer was hired as head coach, and he had an incredibly successful stint there.

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George Edwards: What Experience Does He Have?

This isn’t the first time the Bears have shown interest in Edwards. He interviewed for the head coaching position in 2018 before the team hired Matt Nagy. A former linebacker who attended Duke University, Edwards has been coaching for three decades, and he has been in the NFL for over 20 years.

Here’s a look at Edwards’ resumé:

  • Florida (1991) — Assistant
  • Appalachian State (1992–1995) — Assistant
  • Duke (1996) — Assistant
  • Georgia (1997) — Defensive line coach
  • Dallas Cowboys (1998–2001) — Linebackers coach
  • Washington Redskins (2002) — Assistant defensive coordinator & linebackers coach
  • Washington Redskins (2003) — Defensive coordinator
  • Cleveland Browns (2004) — Linebackers coach
  • Miami Dolphins (2005–2009) — Linebackers coach
  • Buffalo Bills (2010–2011) — Defensive coordinator
  • Miami Dolphins (2012–2013) — Linebackers coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (2014–2019) — Defensive coordinator
  • Dallas Cowboys (2020–present) — Senior defensive assistant

Edwards has experience running both the 4-3 and the 3-4 defense, utilizing the 4-3 during his stint in Minnesota. The Bears had been running a 3-4 scheme under Pagano, with limited success, so it’ll be interesting to see which defensive scheme they use moving forward.

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Edwards Truly Impressed Bears With His Work as Vikings DC

While the Cowboys didn’t exactly light things up on defense this season (they were 28th in points allowed per game), Edwards has done some quality work, particularly with the Vikings in recent years. After he arrived in 2014, Minnesota ranked 11th in points allowed (21.4), and they improved the following season, allowing 18.9 points a game, which was 5th in the league that year.

The Vikings finished 6th in the NFL in points allowed in 2016 (19.2), 1st overall in 2017 (15.8), 9th in 2018 (21.3) and 5th in 2019 (18.9), so his defenses have generally been quite stingy prior to his recent stint in Dallas. Zimmer was the defensive play caller in Minnesota, and after his contract was up last year, the Vikes decided not to renew it. Minnesota allowed 29.7 points a game this season, its first without Edwards in over five years.

The Bears are also expected to interview current defensive line coach Jay Rodgers and safeties coach Sean Desai, who remain the top internal candidates for the defensive coordinator position.

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