Eberflus, 51, also was considered a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ head-coaching vacancy. He will join new general manager Ryan Poles in taking over a Bears team that went 6-11 in 2021 under Matt Nagy and has missed the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons.
Eberflus has spent the past four seasons as the Colts’ defensive coordinator under coach Frank Reich. His defenses finished in the top 10 in scoring three times, including being tied for ninth in 2021 at 21.5 points per game.
Eberflus will inherit a Bears team that ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense in 2021 but struggled offensively and endured instability at quarterback, where Andy Dalton alternated as the starter with rookie Justin Fields.
The Bears do not have a first-round draft pick in 2022 because they traded that selection to the New York Giants to select Fields, who showed flashes of potential both as a passer and a runner but finished with just seven touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Chicago went 2-8 in the 10 games Fields started this past season.
The Bears made two postseason appearances in their four years under Nagy but last won a playoff game in 2010. They are 1-3 in the postseason since appearing in Super Bowl XLI after the 2007 season.