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Bears to interview player from 2006 Super Bowl team for DC job, per report

Bears to interview player from 2006 Super Bowl team for DC job, per report originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears have reportedly opened up their defensive coordinator search to candidates outside of Halas Hall. According to a report from Tom Pelissero, the team will interview Chris Harris for the job.

On the surface, Harris seems like a great fit for the job. The Bears drafted Harris in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, and he ended up starting at free safety as a rookie. Harris played in Lovie Smith’s defense, which has several similarities to head coach Matt Eberflus’ system. Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. principles should also be familiar to Harris, since Smith would also hand out “loafs” to players who were not meeting the team’s standard on any given play.

Harris retired from playing after the 2012 season, but immediately got back to work with the Bears as a defensive quality control coach. In that role Harris’ work focused on the safeties, and he stayed in that position through the 2014 season. Harris worked as a Chargers assistant defensive backs coach from 2016-2019, before taking a job with the Commanders as their defensive backs coach from 2020-2022. Last season, Harris worked as the Titans’ defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator.

Harris’ playing career was filled with many accolades. He won the Brian Piccolo Award as a rookie in 2005 and intercepted Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl one season later. The Bears traded Harris to the Panthers in 2007, and he made an instant impact in Carolina with a franchise-record eight forced fumbles that year. Harris returned to the Bears in another trade in 2010, and he set a career high with five interceptions that year. Harris was recognized with his first All-Pro nod after the 2010 season, as well.

Over his eight-year career, Harris played in 101 games. He intercepted 16 passes, forced 14 fumbles, recovered nine fumbles and made 439 tackles.

This is the first defensive coordinator candidate we’ve heard about from outside the organization. It’s expected the team will talk to in-house candidates, like cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke or linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi, as well. The team has cast a wide net in their offensive coordinator search with many names from the Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay tree.

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