The defense has improved without a stud three-technique defensive tackle.
Eberflus had to take over defensive play-calling duties after defensive coordinator Alan Williams abruptly resigned under strange, HR-related circumstances.
He is doing it without a top-flight three-technique defensive tackle. That position is considered the engine of the defense and he is getting production out of the defense with Justin Jones playing that role.
Needless to say, he is not Tommie Harris or Henry Melton.
The defense has improved since Montez Sweat was acquired. Although, the pass rush still needs to get better.
Also, Eberflus had to replace his hand-picked defensive coordinator because Williams did something so egregious that human resources had to get involved. They also had to get involved with the dismissal of the running backs coach.
His record is based on tanking and the first phase of a rebuild.
Poles gutted the roster last year to clean up the team’s salary cap mess and increase the chances of landing the No. 1 overall pick.
The team was atrocious with a terrible offensive line, a wide receiver group filled with guys who were No. 5 receivers, and a defense filled with guys who should have been practice squad.
The defense got even worse when Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn were traded.
This year the talent has been upgraded, but it is still nowhere near it needs to be to compete for a playoff spot.
Still, the talent is not living up to Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. principle. They are not taking the ball away. This year’s team is getting penalized with regularity.
Quarterback Justin Fields is still inconsistent as a pocket passer. A lot of it feels like trying to coach out the things that make Fields a special talent.
While there is context for Eberflus’ poor record, it is also a big reason the Chicago Bears can cite when they fire him.