Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus ‘respecting space’ of former defensive coordinator Alan Williams

Eberflus will call defensive plays Sunday vs. Chiefs

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams watches during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Chicago.

LAKE FOREST – Speaking publicly Friday for the first time since defensive coordinator Alan Williams submitted his resignation Wednesday, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus again did not provide any additional details on why Williams departed. Eberflus did say he was giving Williams some space.

The 53-year-old coach resigned “to take care of my health and my family,” according to a statement he released Wednesday.

Eberflus coached with Williams for four years with the Indianapolis Colts before hiring him as Bears defensive coordinator in early 2022. Few within the Bears organization have said anything publicly about wishing Williams well as he takes care of his health.

Asked about his personal relationship with Williams, Eberflus said he has “feelings” for Williams.

“I mean, obviously, I was with him four years, five years here,” Eberflus said Friday at Halas Hall. “I have, you know, a lot of friendship. I have feelings for him. And again, it’s ... he’s resigned and it’s for health and family and, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

I have, you know, a lot of friendship. I have feelings for him. And again, it’s ... he’s resigned and it’s for health and family and, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

—  Matt Eberflus, Bears head coach

Eberflus later added, “We’re all coaches and coaching families are – you move here and you move there, you’ve got to be a tight group. So, again, we just reached out for support, and that’s where it is. It’s personal, and we just left it at that. We just said if you need anything, we can help you, let us know.”

Eberflus noted that he met with all the Bears players during position meetings Wednesday in order to tell them that Williams was gone.

Williams’ lawyer, Andrew M. Stroth, told 670 The Score’s “Parkins and Spiegel” show that Williams’ home had not been “raided” by authorities.

“There is absolutely no criminal activity, there’s no criminal allegations, there has been no raid on Halas Hall,” Stroth said on the radio show earlier this week. “None of that is true.”

Eberflus said Friday that he wouldn’t read into the fact that few have expressed concerns for Williams’ health or wished him well in the future.

“Everybody’s respecting space there, and it’s personal,” Eberflus said. “That’s where it is. It’s personal, and that’s where it is, respecting him.”

Bears defensive assistant coaches had media sessions Thursday evening, and they deflected any questions about Williams and kept the focus on this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We’re just moving forward,” said linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi, who also coached with Williams and Eberflus in Indianapolis. “We’re playing the defending Super Bowl champs. That’s where our mind is right now.”

Eberflus will call plays for the defense Sunday. General manager Ryan Poles hinted that the Bears could consider promoting someone to defensive coordinator next week, but the Bears simply are trying to get through this week first.

Eberflus likes being a so-called “CEO” head coach. Ideally, he doesn’t want to be calling plays for the offense or defense. With Williams gone, however, that’s simply not possible.

“It is where it is,” Eberflus said. “This is the best thing for right now.”

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.