LAKE FOREST – Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned from his position Wednesday.
Williams has been away from the team for about a week because of a personal reason. In a statement released by Williams, the longtime NFL coach thanked the Bears organization and said he was “taking a step back to take care of my health and my family.”
“I value the NFL shield and all that it stands for, and after taking some time to address my health, I plan to come back and coach again,” Williams said in his statement.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, head coach Matt Eberflus declined to elaborate on Williams’ status and would not give a direct answer when asked if Williams remained the defensive coordinator.
Eberflus called the plays for the defense in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He said if Williams does not return this week, he again will call the defense this week against Kansas City.
One of the first moves Eberflus made as head coach was to hire Williams as his defensive coordinator in early 2022. Williams had coached underneath Eberflus, then the defensive coordinator, with the Indianapolis Colts from 2018 to 2021. Eberflus was the Colts’ defensive backs coach during that time.
Williams has coached in the NFL since 2001. A native of Virginia, he played college football at William & Mary, where he was teammates with future Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Williams had coaching stints as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts before becoming a defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons in 2012 and 2013. He then coached with the Lions and a second stint with the Colts before Eberflus hired him in Chicago.
Eberflus will continue to call the defense without Williams. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, a team captain, said there are plenty of defensive coaches in the building to help the players through this.
“We’ve just got to continue to put your head down and continue working,” Edmunds said.
“I hope he’s OK,” defensive tackle Andrew Billings said. “I hope everything’s all good, but when you get to the building, you just focus on your job first.”
Rumors swirled online Wednesday regarding the reason for Williams’ absence. A Bears spokesperson denied a rumor that the police visited Halas Hall regarding Williams.
Sports attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who is working with Williams, told ESPN and 670 The Score that Williams is resigning because of health concerns.
“There is absolutely no criminal activity, there’s no criminal allegations, there has been no raid on Halas Hall,” Stroth said on 670 The Score’s “Parkins and Spiegel” show. “None of that is true.”
Stroth also denied a rumor that police “raided” Williams’ home in Lake Forest.