(670 The Score) As the Bears shift their defensive identity with a new regime, defensive coordinator Alan Williams is more concerned with creating a culture than reshaping a scheme.
It’s why Williams doesn’t feel concerned with the Bears shifting from a 3-4 scheme after seven years and moving into a 4-3 base front.
“When you have good players, good players are good players no matter what scheme they’re in,” Williams said Thursday. “And we have good players.”
Williams, 52, was hired by new Bears coach Matt Eberflus as the new defensive coordinator last week. He previously served alongside Eberflus with the Colts while serving as their defensive backs coach. Williams will call the plays for the defensive-oriented Eberflus, who intends to bring a Cover-2 identity with that 4-3 scheme.
The Colts ranked in the top 10 in takeaways during Eberflus’ four seasons as the Colts’ defensive coordinator. In the mind of Eberflus and Williams, a relentless culture was the driving force to their results in Indianapolis.
"We're going to ask guys to give us 100% when they get on the field, 100% hustle,” Williams said. “We're going to ask guys to be intense.”
The Bears have key players returning such as pass rushers Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, linebacker Roquan Smith, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Eddie Jackson. But the defense has several notable free agents like defensive linemen Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols in addition to safety Tashaun Gipson.
The Bears ranked sixth in opponents’ yardage in 2021 despite dealing with a rash of injuries defensively.
Coaching staff update
The Bears have hired Carlos Polk as their new assistant special-teams coach, the team announced Friday morning.
The 44-year-old Polk has served 10 years in the NFL with the Chargers (2010-12), Buccaneers (2014-18), Cowboys (2019) and Jaguars (2021).
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.