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3 moves the Chicago Bears must make after hiring Matt Eberflus

Vincent Frank

The Chicago Bears now have a new brain trust in place following the firings of head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace after a disappointing 2021 season.

Fresh off Chicago hiring Ryan Poles to be their next general manager, the front office executive got to work in a big way. That included him bringing in former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus to be the Bears’ next head coach.

To some, this was a bit surprising. After exhausting a ton of draft capital on quarterback Justin Fields last April, most figured the Bears would look for an offensive-minded head coach.

None of this is to say Eberflus isn’t qualified for the job. He’s highly respected around the NFL world. We’ve also seen a ton of quarterbacks have success with defensive-minded head coaches.

However, this does place special onus on finding the right offensive coordinator to call plays for Fields after the youngster had an uneven rookie campaign. As the Bears look to get back to relevancy, we look at three moves they must make this offseason. That starts at offensive coordinator.

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Chicago Bears must find experienced play-caller

chicago bears hire pep hamilton
Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It was noted following the hiring of Eberflus that Chicago might be honing in on Philadelphia Eagles passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo to take over the offense. The two have a relationship dating back to their days together with the Colts. Patullo was Indianapolis’ wide receivers coach in 2018 and 2019. The question here is whether he has the experience Chicago needs on offense?

Instead, the Bears should look for a veteran offensive mind who has a vast amount of experience calling plays. Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo could be an option as a holdover from Nagy’s staff. He’s been an offensive coordinator in three different NFL stops. Houston Texans quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton could make even more sense. He served as the offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts from 2013-15 — overseeing the progression of Andrew Luck in the process. He’d be our pick at this point.

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Chicago Bears must find a legitimate wide receiver for Justin Fields

chicago bears sign mike williams
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, it seems highly unlikely pending free agent Allen Robinson will return to the Bears. He’s wanted out of dodge for some time and didn’t find a connection with the aforementioned Fields a season ago. Outside of that, Darnell Mooney came to play big time as a sophomore in 2021.

Even then, getting another starter-caliber option should be in the cards for Chicago here. The Bears are slated to have roughly $34.74 million to spend under the cap once free agency opens. They can save some more by moving on from the likes of Nick Foles, Tarik Cohen, Andy Dalton and Jimmy Graham.

The moral of this story? There’s going to be enough resources for Poles and Co. to land a legitimate threat. Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Williams and Zach Pascal all come to mind.

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Chicago Bears add draft pick assets

Unfortunately for this new regime, they are without a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after giving it up to the New York Giants in the Justin Fields trade. Regardless of our opinion regarding the quarterback, this puts Poles and Eberflus behind the proverbial eight-ball. It’s why some figured that the previous regime shouldn’t have been allowed to pull off such a franchise-altering trade with their seats incredibly hot at the time.

Alas, here we are. The goal has to be to find more draft picks in the coming event. Perhaps, that includes trading down in the second round. These Chicago Bears also have some potential veteran assets who could fetch draft picks. Danny Trevathan, Robert Quinn and the aforementioned Cohen come to mind. This would also save Chicago money against the cap to address other weaknesses.

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