Here’s who is interviewing for vacant Chicago Bears coordinator positions

Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham is finalist for Washington GM job

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles (left) and head coach Matt Eberflus watch during Northwestern's Pro Day, Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Evanston.

The Bears have decided to keep Matt Eberflus as their head coach in 2024. They will, however, need to hire both a new offensive and defensive coordinator.

The offensive coordinator job in particular will be a monumental decision for Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. The Bears defense, guided by Eberflus, played well this season. The offense, however, lagged behind.

Eberflus and Poles said they are focused on finding a coordinator who is adaptable. Eberflus said he’s not looking for any one scheme in particular. He wants a coordinator who will put his players in the best position to succeed. Poles echoed that sentiment.

“The ability to be adaptable to the talent that you have is critical,” Poles said. “There were some teams that actually got better with a lot of changes. If you don’t have the ability to adapt and adjust to the talent that you have at that position, it makes it really hard. So that’s going to be a part of our process.”

As for defensive coordinator, whoever the Bears hire will have to be familiar with the Bears’ 4-3 defensive scheme. Eberflus might still call the plays for the defense, which could limit the pool of potential coaches who would be interested.

Here’s what we know about who is interviewing for both positions, according to national reports. It’s important to note that in-person interviews with coaches currently employed by other teams cannot occur until after the divisional round of the playoffs.

Offensive coordinator

The Bears requested an interview with Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, per the NFL Network. Waldron has been the offensive coordinator in Seattle since 2021. He spent five years prior to that working with Sean McVay in Washington and Los Angeles. With Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stepping down, the Seahawks coaches have all become available. Waldron coached quarterback Geno Smith to a resurgent season in 2022.

The Bears also requested 49ers passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak, per ESPN. Klint Kubiak, who is the son of Broncos Super Bowl-winning coach Gary Kubiak, has been an offensive coordinator once for the Vikings in 2021. That was after two seasons as QB coach under Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. Kubiak went with Nathaniel Hackett to Denver for one season as QB coach before taking a job as passing game coordinator with the 49ers this season.

The Bears plan to interview Kentucky offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Liam Coen, according to a report from CBS Sports. Coen was the offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2022. Coen also previously worked for Sean McVay and the Rams from 2018-20, coaching both QBs and receivers at various times.

The Bears interviewed Greg Olson, according to Michael Silver from the San Francisco Chronicle, a longtime NFL assistant coach who was most recently the QB coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Olson has had six different stints as an NFL offensive coordinator. He held coordinator positions with the Lions (2004-05), the Rams (2006-07), the Buccaneers (2009-11), the Raiders (2013-14), the Jaguars (2015-16) and the Raiders again (2018-21). Few candidates will have that much experience in the role. Olson coached the Bears quarterbacks in 2003.

Former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman interviewed for the job, according to the NFL Network. Roman worked in Baltimore from 2017-22. From 2019-22, he served as the offensive coordinator. He was the offensive coordinator when quarterback Lamar Jackson won his MVP award in 2019. The Ravens made the postseason in three of the four seasons during which Roman was the coordinator. Roman was also previously a coordinator with the 49ers (2011-14) and the Bills (2015-16). He coached mobile quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco and Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo.

The Bears interviewed Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, per The Athletic. Brown was the Panthers’ OC for the 2023 season under Frank Reich. He previously worked for McVay in Los Angeles for three seasons. Prior to that, he coached at the college level.

The Bears requested an interview with Marcus Brady, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Brady is a senior offensive assistant currently with the Eagles. He served as the Colts offensive coordinator with Reich in 2021-22, and was on the Colts’ staff since 2018, including two years as the quarterbacks coach. Brady and Eberflus worked together for four years in Indianapolis.

Per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Bears are interviewing Rams passing game coordinator/QB coach Zac Robinson. A former NFL quarterback himself, Robinson has been with the Rams since 2019. He has coached quarterbacks and receivers at various times. He has been in his current role for two seasons.

Kliff Kingsbury is expected to interview, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kingsbury, the former Arizona Cardinals head coach, is currently a senior offensive analyst at USC. Kingsbury worked closely with potential No. 1 overall draft pick Caleb Williams this past season. He spent the previous four seasons as the head coach of the Cardinals. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Texas Tech for six seasons, where he recruited and coached Patrick Mahomes. He was also the offensive coordinator behind Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy season at Texas A&M in 2012.

Defensive coordinator

So far, there have not been any reports of interview requests with candidates from other teams. Given that Eberflus could still call the plays for his defense, the Bears will likely consider internal candidates. Safeties coach Andre Curtis, cornerbacks coach/defensive passing game coordinator Jon Hoke and linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi seem likely to be internal candidates. Of those three, Borgonzi has worked with Eberflus the longest, dating back to 2011 with the Dallas Cowboys.

What about GM positions elsewhere?

Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham was a finalist for the Washington Commanders’ general manager job. According to the NFL Network, Cunningham and San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters were the finalists who conducted second interviews with Josh Harris, the Commanders’ new owner.

Update: The Commanders hired Peters as general manager. ESPN reported that Cunningham is also a candidate for the Los Angeles Chargers’ GM position.

If Cunningham, who is Black, is hired as the primary football executive at another team, the Bears would earn compensatory third-round draft picks in each of the next two drafts, per the league’s rules that reward teams for developing minority coaches and front office personnel.

Cunningham interviewed for GM positions last year, too, and reportedly turned down an offer to become the Arizona Cardinals’ general manager.

In addition to Cunningham, Bears co-director of player personnel Jeff King is interviewing for the Los Angeles Chargers’ open GM position, per ESPN. This is King’s first reported interview for a GM position.

King is not a minority and would not net the Bears any future draft picks. King has been with the Bears since 2015 and worked his way up as a scout.

“Trying to steal my guy [Cunningham],” Poles said this week. “Now I got another one they’re after [King]. ... I’m extremely proud because part of my own deal is that I want to produce as many – as I’m sure [Eberflus] does with head coaches – I want to produce as many GMs in this league as possible. I think that’s a big thing. So I’m proud of them.”

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.