Sep 20, 2023 - Sports

Bears defensive coordinator resigns

Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams looks on against the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Soldier Field in August. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams stepped down Wednesday after missing last week's game for "personal reasons."

The big picture: The coordinator's departure comes after the Bears' defense started this season poorly. The team is 0-2.

The intrigue: Head coach Matt Eberflus announced late last week that Williams would miss the game in Tampa and that he'd step in for defensive play calling.

  • When asked about the absence Wednesday at Halas Hall, Eberflus said he couldn't give a timetable for Williams' return to the sidelines.
  • A few hours later, Williams' resignation was announced.

What they're saying: "I am taking a step back to care for my health and my family," Williams said in a statement.

  • "I value the NFL shield and all that it stands for and after taking some time to address my health, I plan to come back and coach again."

Context: Williams came to Chicago to helm the defense last year under first-year head coach Eberflus.

  • Williams was a defensive backs coach with Eberflus in Indianapolis and has coached in the NFL since 2001.

Catch up fast: Last year, the Bears had one of the worst seasons in franchise history, with their defense ranking toward the bottom of the league.

  • After an offseason of adding free agents and rookies, analysts and fans were optimistic about this year's squad.

Yes, but: The Bears have had a rocky start, while the defense has only one sack and hasn't forced any turnovers.

What's next: The Bears have yet to name a successor, but coach Eberflus could call the defensive plays again this Sunday in Kansas City.

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