LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned on Wednesday, saying he needs to tend to himself and his family.
“I am taking a step back to take care of my health and my family,” he said in a statement. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Chicago Bears, a storied NFL franchise with a rich history.”
Williams’ resignation comes just two games into his second season with the Bears. He missed last week’s loss at Tampa Bay for what the team said were personal reasons after working the opener against Green Bay.
Coach Matt Eberflus called the defense in Williams’ absence and figures to do so again when the Bears (0-2) visit Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) on Sunday.
Williams thanked the McCaskey family as well as Eberflus, general manager Ryan Poles and President Kevin Warren. He also vowed to coach again.
“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,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Eberflus shed little light on the situation, saying he didn’t have “any update right now” when asked if Williams still had a job. He gave similar answers when asked if he anticipates Williams returning this season and if the two have spoken.
Williams’ departure leaves an obvious hole in the coaching staff.
It raises questions about whether Eberflus can spend enough time tending to a struggling offense while leading the defense. Eberflus said the Bears can get by without a defensive coordinator and doesn’t see it becoming problematic because of the experience of his staff.
“I think with the experience that we have on defense, I don’t think that’s an issue,” he said.
Chicago hired Williams in February 2022, shortly after Eberflus got the Bears’ head coaching job. Williams spent four seasons as Indianapolis’ safeties coach while Eberflus was the Colts’ defensive coordinator. It was his second stint with Indianapolis after coaching defensive backs for 10 seasons from 2002 to 2011.
Williams was Minnesota’s defensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013. He has more than three decades of coaching experience.
“I hope he’s OK, I hope everything’s all good but when you get to the building it’s just focus on the job first,” defensive tackle Andrew Billings said. “When you come here everything else out of the building leaves and you focus on what’s important and that’s the next game.”