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What’s next for new Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles?  Find an offensive coordinator and energize Justin Fields.

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What’s next for new Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles? Find an offensive coordinator and energize Justin Fields.

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The big reveal is coming soon. In the coming days at Halas Hall, the Chicago Bears will introduce general manager Ryan Poles, who will then welcome coach Matt Eberflus on stage.

A new regime is taking shape at Lake Forest with the Poles and Eberflus now united and facing the immediate task of bringing their respective teams together in the front office and coaching wing. We leave.

The mood at Halas Hall on Friday promises to be upbeat with both new leaders stepping into positions of power they never held and eager to begin shaping the Bears around a common vision. Still, there’s so much to learn about the Pole, who is 36 and arrives in Chicago after 13 seasons working his way up the Kansas City Chiefs organization. Likewise, Eberflus will have to articulate his vision for how he hopes to bring this team together and save it from the mediocrity that has persisted for far too long.

Here are five questions at the top of the list.

1. Who could the Bears target to become their new offensive coordinator?

As the curtain rises on the Polish-Eberflus era, no question arguably matters more. The Bears need to work to put together a development plan for quarterback Justin Fields as soon as possible. And that means solidifying the infrastructure around Fields in a way that will energize the young quarterback and boost his confidence.

It is presumed that Eberflus will have the power to assemble their coaching staff. But certainly, at some point during his face-to-face interview with the Poles at Halas Hall, Eberflus shared his ideal plans for Fields and the offense.

So what will that entail? Well, it all starts with Eberflus identifying his top coordination targets while putting together a slate of candidates to be the quarterbacks coach for the Bears. The NFL Network hinted Thursday that Philadelphia Eagles coordinator Kevin Patullo would be on Eberflus’ shortlist of possible coordinators. But who else is in the running? And what will Eberflus and the Poles specifically look for in the person they appoint to fill this role?

As for the position coaches, will Eberflus want to wipe the slate clean? Or could he consider keeping outgoing quarterbacks coach John DeFillipo to continue helping Fields’ development? A move like that would provide comfort and continuity to Fields and would not be unprecedented. In 2018, Matt Nagy opted to retain quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone from John Fox’s staff given the bond Ragone had built with Mitch Trubisky during their first season together in 2017.

2. How will Bears brass sell Matt Eberflus when introduced?

When the search for the team began nearly three weeks ago, president George McCaskey pointed out that leadership would be the number one quality the Bears are looking for.

Quoting from one of Bill Polian’s books, McCaskey said, “Great teams have coaches that the players respect. They don’t have to like it, they don’t have to like it. But they respect him.

So, specifically, how did the Bears identify leadership traits in Eberflus? What did they see in him that they think will resonate in their locker room?

Eberflus’ command of the Indianapolis Colts defense was outstanding. This season, the Colts led the AFC with 33 takeouts and finished in the top 10 in runs allowed. Three players – Darius Leonard, DeForest Bucker and Kenny Moore – were named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster last month. Among his players, Eberflus has a reputation for having an infectious passion with an ability to see the game and translate it into his teaching.

Eberflus have always wanted their defenses to be fast and aggressive, with players having the freedom to operate on their instincts. He is also very responsible and makes it a point to regularly call players who are not rushing.

In fact, Eberflus could spend part of Friday promoting their “HITS” philosophy, which reminds their players to always prioritize the excitement, intensity, takeaways and intelligence of the situation.

Still, many on the outside expected the Bears to hire a new coach with offensive experience to accelerate Fields’ growth. McCaskey and Poles will therefore have to explain how Eberflus’ potential as a head coach outweighed the needs on the other side of the ball.

3. When did the Bears’ interest in Ryan Poles as a GM candidate begin?

For what it’s worth, Eberflus’ first interview with the Bears was on January 17. That same day, rumors began circulating that the organization had asked the Chiefs to tell the Poles about GM’s work. Coincidence?

By this point, the Bears had officially requested to meet with 12 other GM candidates and had spoken with seven of them. Then the Poles seemed to appear on their radar, and things took off.

So what sparked the initial interest? And what raised the attraction of Poles? It will be interesting to know more about how and why this union was formed.

The Poles, for what it’s worth, were interviewed for the vacant New York Giants general manager job on Jan. 13 and spoke with the Minnesota Vikings about the same position five days later. Both organizations named him a finalist for their respective jobs. The Bears, however, met the Poles on Friday and then insisted he take part in his second interview on Tuesday.

Given this schedule, it’s worth mentioning that the Bears started scheduling Eberflus’ second interview on January 18, three days before they met the Poles for the first time. So how were all the dots finally connected?

4. Was the Poles’ coaching research really thorough and comprehensive?

Of the nine teams with head coaching vacancies this month, the Bears became the second organization to fill their opening, hiring Eberflus Thursday morning just hours after the Denver Broncos reached an agreement to hire the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

The Broncos coaching search, led by general manager George Paton, took 18 days from start to finish. The Bears’ coaching search, by comparison, ended less than 48 hours after their new general manager was hired.

Yes, the Bears had spent a week and a half interviewing at least 10 known candidates for the head coach in the initial phase of their search. But that was before they had a general manager in place. This naturally raises a series of legitimate questions. For starters, did the Poles really have full autonomy to decide who their coaching finalists would be? If so, how did he settle on his list of Eberflus, Dan Quinn and Jim Caldwell? And why did he only meet three head coaching candidates – and so soon after he was hired? (The interview with Caldwell, for what it’s worth, took place Tuesday night just hours after the Poles agreed to become the new GM.)

What was the extent of the legwork the Poles made in talking with possible head coaching targets before he was hired?

For as much as the Bears promised thorough and detailed research and backed up those vows by interviewing nearly two dozen candidates on Zoom in the 14 days after Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy were fired, there have been curiosities circulating in the league as to how quickly the research completed. Poles, for example, was the only GM candidate to interview the Bears in person. Two other presumed finalist candidates, Monti Ossenfort and Eliot Wolf, never had the opportunity to appear in person.

Then, as mentioned above, the three in-person interviews the Poles conducted with coaching candidates were crammed into a window of less than 30 hours. Presumably, the Bears have explanations for the mechanics of everything. Friday will provide them with an opportunity to shed some light on their methods and deadlines.

5. What exactly happened with Dan Quinn?

Clues to this mystery could take a long time to piece together. But it was certainly notable on Thursday when Quinn informed the Dallas Cowboys he would be staying put in 2022, even after interviewing for head coaching openings with the Bears, Vikings, Giants, Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins. (Quinn also declined an interview request with the Jacksonville Jaguars.)

Within hours of his in-person interview with the Poles at Halas Hall on Wednesday evening, talk in league circles indicated he might have an inside track to become the new coach. Yet Thursday morning news broke that the Bears had hired Eberflus.

So, was Quinn’s uplifting buzz untrustworthy? Or did something make Quinn reconsider?

It’s certainly worth noting that Quinn was open to interviews for so many head coaching positions, but ultimately ended up staying in Dallas. Along the way, it will be fascinating to see what details emerge from his back and forth with the Bears.

What’s next for new Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles? Find an offensive coordinator and energize Justin Fields.

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