Halas Intrigue Bears Report: An unexpected pick



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Halas Intrigue Bears Report
With glaring needs on offense and a potential star quarterback to groom, the Bears surprised many by picking Matt Eberflus, the Colts’ defensive coordinator, to replace Matt Nagy as head coach. Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. A breath of bland air
Neither overwhelming nor underwhelming, new coach Matt Eberflus might be exactly what the Bears need to restore respectability after the sputtering end of the Matt Nagy era.
Eberflus doesn’t have the cachet of some candidates, such as Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson or successful former head coaches Dan Quinn, Jim Caldwell and Brian Flores. He also doesn’t have the question marks of Nathaniel Hackett or Byron Leftwich.
What Eberflus has, in addition to three decades of coaching experience, is a reputation for approaching this like the business it is. There’s no need for anything corny, such as hanging a disco ball in the locker room for Club Dub, which feels awfully silly after you’ve eked out a last-second victory against the Lions to improve to 4-7.
So while Eberflus is unexciting in some ways, maybe that’s ideal. A straightforward, simple approach is what the Bears need right now as they embark on a substantial rebuild.
Welcome, Matt: Eberflus must be what Nagy wasn’t for Bears
2. A Lovie redux?
It took new Bears general manager Ryan Poles less than 24 hours to go against convention. That’s fast even by Halas Hall standards.
Inheriting a team desperate for offense — and with the Bears’ best quarterback prospect in decades in place with rookie Justin Fields — Poles could have looked for the next Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur or Zac Taylor as his head coach. Instead, he hired 51-year-old Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on Thursday.
It’s an unusual tack that doesn’t work for everyone, but — believe it or not — has worked for the Bears. In 2003, they were in a similarly desperate situation after general manager Jerry Angelo fired Dick Jauron following a 7-9 season.
So what did Angelo do? He turned to the St. Louis Rams — home of the Greatest Show on Turf, the juggernaut offense of the era that made a Hall of Famer out of Kurt Warner and a quarterback out of Marc Bulger — and hired defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. It was so Bears.
And yet, it worked out.
The onus is on Eberflus to be a great judge of offensive coaches and hire a coordinator who can nurture Fields and build an offense. 
Bears turning back the clock — to Lovie Smith — with Matt Eberflus hire
3. Rookie leadership
Facing the most monumental task in his 11 years as the Bears’ chairman, George McCaskey refused to detail exactly what traits he envisioned in a new head coach and general manager. It didn’t matter whether the coach was an expert in offense or defense, McCaskey said. He didn’t need to be beloved by his players, as long as he was respected.
On Jan. 10, McCaskey set the tone for a wide-ranging interview process that, by its end, saw the Bears interview at least 13 GM candidates and 10 potential head coaches.
There was one thing, however, that was not negotiable.
‘‘The primary quality we’ll be looking for in both the general manager and the head coach is leadership,’’ McCaskey said.
On Tuesday, McCaskey hired Ryan Poles, a 36-year-old first-time GM. After interviewing three finalists, Poles picked his head coach Thursday: Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. The 51-year-old never has been a head coach at any level.
That’s not to say Eberflus can’t be the face of the franchise for years. Or that, behind the scenes, Poles can’t set the tone at Halas Hall for the next decade. Because neither has led a team before, however, it’s all projection — McCaskey’s projection.
The Bears have made these leadership projections constantly for a half century. In the Super Bowl era, John Fox is the only man they hired who had previous NFL head-coaching experience. Eberflus and Poles, however, are the first head coach/GM tandem in franchise history who are rookies at the same time. That ups the degree of difficulty for both men — and the amount of faith one must have in McCaskey to think it will work.
The Bears wanted ‘leadership,’ yet  chose a first-time head coach and GM
4. In other news
5. From the podcast
Patrick Finley, Jason Lieser and Mark Potash break down the Eberflus hire and debate what it means for everyone from Justin Fields to the McCaskeys. LISTEN HERE.
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