After a 2021 season highlighted by a rotating cast of quarterbacks and the Bears’ worst record in four seasons, Chicago decided to make a change. The general manager and head coach were the first replacements to be made in what Chicago hopes to be a successful rebuild.
Although the Chicago Bears had hired Matt Nagy as their head coach in 2018 and Ryan Pace served as the general manager since 2015, both parties were out at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
During Nagy’s tenure, the Bears went 34-33, including two playoff losses, and under Pace’s regime, the team finished with a record of 48-67 and those playoff losses.
Brought in to replace them were general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus, with Eberflus having previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts for three years.
The Bears also hired former Packers quarterback coach Luke Getsy as their offensive coordinator, who should help Chicago develop quarterback Justin Fields.
Chicago hopes to see positive changes after a revamped staff took over in the offseason.
- Ryan Poles
- Matt Eberflus
- Luke Getsy
Stayed the Same: Running Back
The running backs became the key to Chicago’s offense in 2021.
Running back David Montgomery leads the group heading into his fourth season with the Bears, while backup Khalil Herbert returns for his second.
Montgomery has led the team in rushing in all three seasons, finishing 2021 rushing for 849 yards and seven touchdowns and also catching 42 passes for 301 yards. Herbert finished his rookie season rushing for 433 yards and two touchdowns while catching 14 passes for 96 yards.
With Chicago’s top two running backs returning for the 2022 season, as well as the Bears getting another back in rookie Trestan Ebner, the offense should continue to get strong production from their running back room.
Got Worse: Wide Receiver
While the Bears’ running backs will continue to be relied upon, their wide receivers’ room took a hit.
Although Chicago added a couple of receivers to the group, the team allowed one of its main veterans to walk in free agency, with wide receiver Allen Robinson signing a three-year deal with the Rams in the offseason.
Though Robinson had a down year last season, he had over 1,000 receiving yards in the two seasons prior to that to lead the team.
To replace Robinson, Chicago signed wide receivers Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown to one-year contracts while trading for N’Keal Harry and drafting Velus Jones Jr.
Pringle looks to be the most promising of the new veterans, as he finished the 2021 season with 568 receiving yards and five touchdowns while St. Brown recorded 98 receiving yards in 2021 and Harry put up 184 receiving yards.
Darnell Mooney will be the only returning wide receiver for the Bears, with Fields left to develop a connection with the newbies to find success, which could be an issue for a young quarterback.
Aside from the overhaul of staff on Chicago’s payroll, the Bears had a relatively tame offseason. A new head coach and general manager is a step in the right direction, however not doing enough to employ more help around their young quarterback going into his first full season as a starter seems like a miss.
- Week 1: 9/11 vs. 49ers, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 2: 9/18 at Packers, 8:20 PM, NBC
- Week 3: 9/25 vs. Texans, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 4: 10/2 at Giants, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 5: 10/9 at Vikings, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 6: 10/13 vs. Commanders, 8:15 PM, Amazon Prime Video
- Week 7: 10/24 at Patriots, 8:15 PM, ESPN
- Week 8: 10/30 at Cowboys, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 9: 11/6 vs. Dolphins, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 10: 11/13 vs. Lions, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 11: 11/20 at Falcons, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 12: 11/27 at Jets, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 13: 12/4 vs. Packers, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 14: BYE
- Week 15: 12/18 vs. Eagles, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 16: 12/24 vs. Bills, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 17: 1/1 at Lions, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 18: 1/7 or 1/8 vs. Vikings, TBD, TBD