Former Bears safety to interview for DC position
Photo courtesy: Titans

Former Bears safety to interview for DC position

by - Senior Writer -

Lost in the shuffle of Shane Waldron being hired as the next Offensive coordinator and the constant Caleb Williams vs. Justin Fields talk, some must remember to realize that this team is also looking for a defensive coordinator for next season. In case you forgot, Alan Williams was fired three games into the 2023 season after inappropriate contact at the workplace, and Matt Eberflus took over the playcalling duties the rest of the way.

What started as a struggle quickly turned into a 180-degree turn as the Bears were a top-10 defense by the end of the season. Some of that is credited to Montez Sweat coming over and giving the Bears a pass rush, but Eberflus deserves as much credit as anyone for getting that defense back on track. While he may be unproven as a head coach at this point, he did prove he knows how to call a defense last season.

Although he is expected to be the playcaller on defense next season, at least for the time being, Eberflus still wants to bring in a defensive coordinator to help with that and will now start the interview process since the OC gig is taken care of. Like the OC position, look for the Bears to address a specific style they want to see in their applicants and then narrow the search down from there.

As of now, only one person has been listed to interview for the job, and it comes from someone very familiar with the Bears, as former Bears safety Chris Harris is interviewing for the DC job in Chicago. Part of the Bears' 2006 Lovie Smith defense that went to the Super Bowl, Harris spent last season as the Titans' CB coach along with the Defensive Pass Game Coordinator role. Before his set interview with the Bears, Harris interviewed for the Jaguars DC position, so there is some interest across the NFL for his services.

Harris is a familiar name around Halas Hall as he was the Bears sixth-round pick in 2005 before going on to have an eight-year NFL career. Along with his stint in Chicago, Harris spent time with the Carolina Panthers (2007-09), Detroit Lions (2011), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2012). Most will remember him from the back-to-back NFC North winning squad that played against Peyton Manning in the Superbowl in 2006.

After hanging up the cleats in 2012, Harris has spent some time in the coaching ranks, where he has filled different roles across the board. That started with the Bears in 2013-14, where Harris was the Defensive Quality Control Coach. After taking a year off, he was back on the sidelines with the Chargers, where he spent 2016-19 as the team's assistant Defensive Backs coach.

That led him to his next stop with the Washington Commanders, where he spent 2020-22 as the defensive backs coach, earning yet another promotion. That led to his most recent gig this season, where Harris landed on Mike Vrabel's staff in Tennessee, working as the Defensive Passing Game Coordinator and Cornerbacks coach. To say he has experience on the defensive side would be an understatement, especially when working with defensive back units.

Given that the Bears' secondary is one of the youngest units in football, having a guy like Harris could be crucial to their development as he not only played their position but can relate to them through coaching. His experience coaching that group should be noticed, and given his coaching trajectory, a lead to a coordinator seems logical.

Harris may not have the defensive play-calling experience at this point, but should he come here, Eberflus would still be calling the plays, so Harris would only have to shoulder that responsibility later. After working with Vrabel, Gus Bradley, and Ron Rivera and playing under Smith, Harris has been a part of some of the best defensive minds in the games, which is something you can't take away from him.

Having him on this staff would be a feel-good/happy homecoming for him, and he would be welcomed back to Chicago with open arms. The interview process should be easy for Harris as he interviewed for a position on the Bears staff last season, and some reports indicate an offer for him. Either way, it is nice to see the team getting things rolling on this as they look to lock up their offensive and defensive coordinator positions by February.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!