Bears coach: 'Natural fit' to call plays again; Fields was being 'leader'

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus says it was a "natural fit" for him to take over the defensive playcalling following the resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams this week and called Justin Fields' controversial comments about the team's coaching an example of the quarterback acting as a leader.

A defensive coordinator for four years in Indianapolis (2018-21), Eberflus gave up playcalling duties when he was hired by the Bears in 2022.

"This is the best thing for right now," Eberflus said Friday of taking over the playcalling. "I think that's where it is. It's the best thing for our football team and for our organization. That's where we see it, and that's where it is."

Speaking publicly for the first time since Williams' abrupt resignation Wednesday, Eberflus addressed his relationship with his now-former DC, who had been brought on so the head coach could maintain a CEO-type role.

"Obviously, I was with him four years, five years," Eberflus said. "I have a lot of friendship. I have feelings for him. And again, he's resigned and it's for health and family, and we'll see where it goes from there."

Since Williams' resignation, Bears players and coaches have diverted their focus to the Kansas City Chiefs when asked about the former defensive coordinator. Asked why there hasn't been much outward support for Williams, Eberflus said those inside the organization aimed to respect his privacy.

"I wouldn't read into that," Eberflus said. "It's personal. So people are respecting that and respecting space, I believe. That's what I believe it is. It's no disrespect to the question, it's none of that. That's where it is."

Williams' resignation was among several events that made for a dramatic week within Halas Hall. General manager Ryan Poles addressed the team's "adversity" Thursday, offering support for Fields after the quarterback pointed to coaching for his "robotic" play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Eberflus spoke directly after Fields on Wednesday and did not hear the quarterback's comments until later. He said he met with Fields one-on-one this week and offered support for the quarterback voicing his sentiments about the offense.

"Hey, that's the way he felt," Eberflus said. "He felt that was the right thing to do. I always tell them, 'Hey, if you think something's right and you want do right, step up and do it. If you see something that's wrong, something that you can help with, step up and say it.' That's how you be a leader. That's how you be a man, and a team.

"It's no disrespect to anybody. It's just telling somebody the truth."

The Bears (0-2) are a 13-point underdog heading to Kansas City in Week 3.