Who are the Chicago Bears’ new assistant coaches?

Here are new additions to Matt Eberflus’ staff

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron watches warm ups prior to an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Seattle.

The Bears’ 2024 coaching staff is finally coming into focus.

Even though the Bears kept head coach Matt Eberflus heading into 2024, his coaching staff needed significant work, especially after the team fired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

Most notably, they hired Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator and Eric Washington as defensive coordinator. Eberflus said he wanted strong teachers in those leadership roles.

“You want to have somebody that’s a great teacher,” Eberflus said as he embarked on the search for his offensive coordinator. “I think that’s important because he has to coach the coaches to coach the position. And I think that’s the No. 1 trait of any great coach.”

You want to have somebody that’s a great teacher. I think that’s important because he has to coach the coaches to coach the position. And I think that’s the No. 1 trait of any great coach.”

—  Matt Eberflus, Bears head coach

In addition to the coordinators, the Bears hired about half a dozen assistant coaches over the past two weeks. While Eberflus’ defensive staff remained largely intact, the offensive side needed several new position coaches. The Bears kept only offensive line coach Chris Morgan and tight ends coach Jim Dray from Getsy’s 2023 staff.

Here’s a look at the new additions the Bears have made.

Eric Washington, defensive coordinator

Buffalo Bills assistant head coach/ defensive line Eric Washington talks to his players during an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Chicago.

The Bears hired Eric Washington to replace former defensive coordinator Alan Williams, who resigned unexpectedly two weeks into the 2023 season. Eberflus will continue to call plays for the defense.

Washington coached under Lovie Smith with the Bears from 2008-10, then followed Ron Rivera to Carolina, where he coached from 2011-19. Washington was the defensive coordinator during his last two years in Carolina. Over the past four seasons, he has coached the defensive line for the Buffalo Bills on Sean McDermott’s staff.

Washington has never worked directly with Eberflus, but he has worked within the same defensive scheme under Smith and Rivera.

Shane Waldron, offensive coordinator

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron stands on the sideline during a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, in Seattle.

Shane Waldron will take over as offensive coordinator. Waldron has 20 years of coaching experience dating back to his early days as a Patriots intern in 2002. He spent the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. Waldron previously spent five years working with Sean McVay in Washington and Los Angeles.

The Bears’ offense will be his vision, but the basic principles will still resemble what the Bears ran under Getsy. Waldron and Getsy come from offshoots of the same coaching tree, which goes back to Kyle Shanahan’s dad Mike Shanahan. The Bears will continue to run a wide-zone blocking scheme and could still be a run-first team.

In Seattle, Waldron helped revive quarterback Geno Smith’s career. He has also worked with Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff, among other QBs.

Thomas Brown, passing game coordinator

Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown walks the sidelines before al game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Thomas Brown most recently served as the offensive coordinator under Frank Reich during the 2023 season. Before that, he coached with the Los Angeles Rams for three years, where he worked alongside Waldron in 2020. Reich’s endorsement was probably valuable to Eberflus, who coached with Reich in Indianapolis.

Adding a separate passing game coordinator is new for Eberflus’ staff. Previously, former wide receiver coach Tyke Tolbert also served as passing game coordinator.

Brown grew up in Georgia and played running back for the Georgia Bulldogs from 2004-07. He coached at the college level for a decade before joining the Rams in 2020.

Kerry Joseph, quarterbacks coach

Seattle Seahawks assistant quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph before an NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif.

Kerry Joseph spent the past two seasons as the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Seahawks, working with Waldron. In total, Joseph spent four seasons in Seattle. Before that, he coached in the college ranks at McNeese State and Southeastern Louisiana. He’s a former quarterback who once won the Canadian Football League’s most outstanding player award (its version of the MVP). Joseph worked closely with Geno Smith over two seasons in Seattle, including Smith’s Comeback Player of the Year season in 2022.

Joseph will work directly with quarterbacks Justin Fields and Tyson Bagent. If the Bears do select Caleb Williams or Drake Maye with the No. 1 overall draft pick, Joseph will be tasked with bringing the rookie QB up to speed.

Chad Morton, running backs coach

Chad Morton spent the past 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks in various roles, including special teams assistant, running backs coach and run game coordinator. That includes three years working with Waldron.

Before Seattle, Morton worked as a special teams assistant for Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. He was on staff in 2010 when the Packers won the Super Bowl. He also played seven years in the NFL as a running back and return specialist.

Chris Beatty, wide receivers coach

Former Los Angeles Chargers wide receivers coach Chris Beatty walks on the field before a game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif.

Chris Beatty has been an NFL wide receiver coach for the past five seasons with the Steelers (2019-20) and the Chargers (2020-23). Before that, he spent three years coaching at Maryland, where he served as DJ Moore’s wide receivers coach for two seasons in 2016-17. He spent 12 years coaching in the college ranks, including stops at Northern Illinois as running backs coach in 2007 and Illinois as co-offensive coordinator/QB coach in 2012.

Jason Houghtaling, assistant offensive line coach

Jason Houghtaling served as offensive line coach for the Titans last season and worked under Mike Vrabel in Tennessee for the past three years. Before that, he worked at the college level, including five years as the head coach at Wagner (2015-19).

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.