Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus Dec 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Eberflus has undoubtedly put himself in a position to be the Chicago Bears head coach next season and potentially moving forward. A large part of that is because of Justin Fields, who is finally starting to reach his potential. Still, it’s primarily due to the team’s defense, which Eberflus has taken over following the controversial departure of defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

The Chicago Bears have won 5 out of their last seven games and, in that time, have recorded 18 takeaways. During the 2023 NFL season, the Bears achieved five games with three or more takeaways. They lead the league in interceptions with 22 as they head into their final game.

Perhaps it took some time for the players to commit fully, or maybe some of the new defensive additions, such as T.J. Edwards, required an adjustment period. Nonetheless, Eberflus’s defense humming at the most opportune moment could ultimately play a significant role in ensuring his job security.

And players like Edwards would like to see that happen.

“The way he allows us to, again, speak our mind on things we’re seeing on the field or even how things are going week-to-week in terms of the process we have as a team,” Edwards said on the Ross Tucker Podcast. “I think that speaks volumes. There are a lot of guys who, again, are kind of stuck in their ways in terms of what they want to do and how they want to look, and he’s one of those guys who adapts to the people he has in the building; that’s big time. Guys in the locker room, you just respect that. You want to play for a guy who does those things.

“And also, he’s aggressive as (heck) man, and I love that. I love his energy and his passion, and he wants to go dictate his terms every Sunday. And that’s something we love.”

Edwards’s praise for Eberflus’s adaptability and player empowerment highlights a fundamental difference. This collaborative approach might explain the late-season surge and players’ desire to play for Eberflus.

Taking over a struggling defense after the Williams controversy was risky, but Eberflus’s system and leadership are proving effective. The Bears’ recent defensive surge coincides with Fields’s development, making Eberflus a strong candidate to return, which has been heavily endorsed by some of those in the locker room, like Edwards.

[Ross Tucker Podcast]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.