Here are 9 potential candidates for open Chicago Bears defensive coordinator position

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier walks on the field before a game against the Houston Texans, on Oct. 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

The Bears are moving forward with head coach Matt Eberflus heading into 2024. One of the first orders of business for Eberflus will be hiring both an offensive and a defensive coordinator.

The Bears did not have a defensive coordinator for nearly the entire 2023 season. Former defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned unexpectedly two weeks into the regular season. Eberflus was forced to serve as the defensive play caller for the rest of the season.

Eberflus fared well as the play caller and oversaw a resurgent defense. He said he hasn’t made up his mind if he will continue to call the plays for his defense. While the Bears fired much of the offensive coaching staff Wednesday, the defensive coaching staff remains intact, other than the vacant coordinator position.

Eberflus will certainly be looking for someone who knows his 4-3 defensive scheme well. That could give internal candidates a leg up on this position.

Here are some candidates from across the league who could be in the running.

Ben Bloom, Browns defensive line coach

Ben Bloom has been with the Browns since 2020, where he has been both the defensive line coach and the defensive run game coordinator. He previously worked with Eberflus when both were in Dallas. Bloom was on the staff in Dallas from 2011-19. When the Colts hired Eberflus as defensive coordinator, Bloom succeeded him as Cowboys linebackers coach. Bloom has overseen a ferocious Browns D-line.

Dave Borgonzi, Bears linebackers coach

Current Bears linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi has worked with Eberflus dating back to 2011 with the Dallas Cowboys. He served as linebackers coach for four years under Eberflus in Indianapolis, and followed Eberflus to Chicago in the same role. Borgonzi coached TJ Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds and Jack Sanborn at linebacker this season. Borgonzi has never been a defensive coordinator.

Andre Curtis, Bears safeties coach

Andre Curtis would be another potential internal hire. He joined Eberflus’ staff in 2022 as safeties coach. Prior to that, he spent seven years working for Pete Carroll in Seattle, taking various roles such as safeties coach, defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator. Curtis has never been a defensive coordinator.

Ejiro Evero, Panthers defensive coordinator

With a head coaching change in Carolina, Ejiro Evero could be looking for a new job. The 43-year-old is considered an up-and-coming young defensive coach who cut his teeth under Sean McVay in Los Angeles for five years (2017-21) as a safeties coach and defensive passing game coordinator. He left to become the DC in Denver with Nathaniel Hackett in 2022, then joined Frank Reich in Carolina this past season. If Reich approved of Evero, Eberflus likely would too. Evero is also a candidate for head coaching jobs, so this could be a long shot.

Tennessee Titans cornerbacks coach Chris Harris watches play on the Jumbotron during their game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.

Chris Harris, Titans defensive passing game coordinator

Chris Harris played two different stints at safety for the Bears from 2005-06 and again from 2010-11. He also began his coaching career as a quality control assistant with the Bears in 2013. The Titans fired head coach Mike Vrabel on Tuesday, which means Harris likely is looking for a new job. Harris has been the assistant defensive backs coach for the Chargers (2016-19) and the head DBs coach for the Commanders (2020-22).

Jon Hoke, Bears cornerbacks coach

Jon Hoke joined Eberflus’ staff this past year as cornerbacks coach and defensive passing game coordinator. Hoke is a lifetime coach who has coached at the college and pro level since 1982. He has never been an NFL coordinator, but he has done the job at the college level, most recently with Maryland in 2019-20. Of anyone currently on Eberflus’ coaching staff, he has the most experience.

Leslie Frazier, former Bills defensive coordinator

Super Bowl XX champion Leslie Frazier took a year off in 2023 after the Bills and Frazier parted ways following the 2022 season. Frazier was the coordinator in Buffalo from 2017-22. He served as Lovie Smith’s DC in Tampa Bay from 2014-15. He also served as Vikings head coach from 2010-13. When he stepped away last year, he noted that he did hope to coach again in 2024.

Wink Martindale, former Giants defensive coordinator

The Giants made a change at defensive coordinator, letting Don “Wink” Martindale go. Before joining the Giants in 2022, he spent a decade with the Baltimore Ravens. That included four years as defensive coordinator from

2018-21. He has never worked with Eberflus before, but he brings coordinator experience.

Phil Snow, Bears senior defensive analyst

The Bears hired Phil Snow as an analyst mid-season after Williams left. Snow previously served as Panthers defensive coordinator under Matt Rhule from 2020-22. Previously, he followed Rhule from Temple to Baylor and then to Carolina. This one doesn’t feel too likely. If the Bears were going to hire Snow as defensive coordinator, they probably would’ve done it mid-season when they added him to the staff.

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.