Alan Williams

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 2-28-24 (3:10pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Interviewed
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Latest On Bears DC Alan Williams’ Resignation

The Bears had a tumultuous week in preparation of their Week 3 contest today, including the sudden resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams. Plenty of speculation has emerged regarding why that took place, and specifics on that front remain elusive at this point.

Williams cited personal health as the reason for his absence in Week 2, which was quickly followed by his decision to resign his post. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Williams engaged in “inappropriate activity,” which was part of the cause of his tenure coming to an end, though he adds the 53-year-old was not involved in any criminal activities.

The Bears’ human resource department was involved in the resignation process, Schefter adds, and a digital forensic search was conducted in line with standard procedure. Head coach Matt Eberflus has publicly cited Williams’ privacy when addressing the latter’s departure, and subsequent reports have attempted to pour cold water on online speculation naming Williams as the target of an FBI raid at his home. Eberflus – who will retain defensive play-calling duties for the rest of the season – recently spoke about his and the Bears’ collective response to the sudden news.

“I said, ‘hey all those rumors and stuff going on right now, that crazy stuff, none of that is true,'” he said while informing players on a position-by-position basis of the situation. “‘Alan is resigning,’ and I said, ‘We’ll be keeping all the same responsibilities on defense and I’ll be calling the plays on game day. Any questions?’ It was better that way, with fewer people in the room. It took me more time, but that’s the way I wanted to do it” (h/t Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).

Questions will no doubt continue to be asked regarding Williams’ specific actions and their role in his decision to step aside. For the time being, though, the Bears will move forward with an otherwise-intact coaching staff in place as they look to rebound from an 0-2 start. With a matchup against the Chiefs on tap today, though, they will be hard-pressed to enter the win column for the first time this season. In any event, improvement on Chicago’s 31st ranking in scoring defense will be welcomed.

Bears HC Matt Eberflus To Take Over Defensive Play-Calling Duties

Alan Williams‘ sudden resignation as Bears defensive coordinator left a major hole on Chicago’s coaching staff. However, the organization isn’t anticipating any major hirings following the subtraction. Matt Eberflus told reporters that the defensive coaching staff will remain intact, and the head coach will be taking over defensive play-calling duties.

[RELATED: Bears DC Alan Williams Resigns]

“This is the best thing for right now,” Eberflus said of the play-calling decision (via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin). “I think that’s where it is. It’s the best thing for our football team and for our organization. That’s where we see it, and that’s where it is.”

Eberflus emerged as a worthy head coach candidate thanks to his defensive acumen, with the Colts ranking as a top-10 scoring defense during three of his four years as Indy’s defensive coordinator. Eberflus is the most logical contingency plan for the Bears, although the team does have 35 years of combined coaching experience in cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke and safeties coach Andre Curtis.

Despite the unexpected end to Williams’ stint as defensive coordinator, Eberflus made it clear that he still supports his now-former coach. The two coached alongside each other with the Colts, where Williams served as safeties coach.

“Obviously, I was with him four years, five years,” Eberflus said. “I have a lot of friendship. I have feelings for him. And again, he’s resigned and it’s for health and family, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

While the head coach publicly supported Williams, some reporters observed that the players have been relatively quiet on the matter. This inspired someone to ask Eberflus about the lack of public support from the players, but the head coach downplayed the matter and cited Williams’ privacy.

“I wouldn’t read into that,” Eberflus said. “It’s personal. So people are respecting that and respecting space, I believe. That’s what I believe it is. It’s no disrespect to the question, it’s none of that. That’s where it is.”

Bears DC Alan Williams Resigns

8:45pm: Amid the presence of some fairly wild speculations, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, among others, have strived to set the record straight. According to Rapoport, rumors that Williams was involved in something that attracted the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that his absence and resignation are not health-related are completely unfounded.

Rapoport went on air to contradict the reports that claim the FBI conducted a raid of Halas Hall, the Bears’ headquarters, today. He also denied that the NFL had any interest in getting involved in Williams’ situation, which would have been a possible sign of misconduct or malpractice that could result in discipline. Finally, he disregarded the rumor that Charles Tillman, who is in all actuality an FBI agent, was involved in Williams’ departure in any way. It is unclear from where these rumors stemmed, but respected reporters are doing their due diligence to try and snuff them out before they get out of hand.

3:20pm: Alan Williams‘ Week 2 absence will lead to the veteran assistant leaving the Bears. The second-year Chicago defensive coordinator resigned his post Wednesday, according to the team.

Williams, 53, stepped away from the Bears two days before their Week 2 game against the Buccaneers. This led to Matt Eberflus calling the defensive signals. The Bears will need to determine how they divvy up Williams’ duties going forward, with this abrupt departure certainly bringing an unexpected challenge for Eberflus and Co.

I am taking a step back to take care of my health and family,” Williams said in a statement. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Chicago Bears, a storied NFL franchise with a rich history. The McCaskey family is first-class and second to none. I would also like to thank Coach Matt Eberflus and General Manager Ryan Poles for giving me the opportunity to come to Chicago.

“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.”

Eberflus is expected to continue calling the Bears’ defensive plays, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets. The former Colts DC held this responsibility from 2018-21 in Indianapolis, and the Colts ranked as a top-10 scoring defense in three of those years, earning Eberflus HC attention. Williams had served as the Colts’ safeties coach during Frank Reich‘s first four years at the helm in Indianapolis, and he followed Eberflus to return to a coordinator role.

The Bears gig represented Williams’ second chance as a defensive coordinator. He served in that capacity under Leslie Frazier with the Vikings from 2012-13. Williams has spent most of his NFL career working with Tony Dungy and then Jim Caldwell. The Colts’ DBs coach for 10 years (from 2002-11), Williams collected a Super Bowl ring and closed out his tenure during Caldwell’s three years in charge. He then rejoined Caldwell as the Lions’ DBs coach in 2014, staying on throughout the former’s four-year Detroit tenure.

Last season, the Bears slunk to last place in scoring defense. The team traded Khalil Mack in March and then dealt Robert Quinn before the deadline, while moving on from other Vic Fangio– and Chuck Pagano-era mainstays as well. Eddie Jackson also went down with an injury during Chicago’s losing streak that ended up securing the franchise the No. 1 overall pick. Through two games this season, the Bears rank 31st defensively.

Bears DC Alan Williams Away From Team Due To Personal Matter

The Bears will feature a different defensive play-caller in Week 2. Second-year defensive coordinator Alan Williams will not travel with the team to Tampa, Matt Eberflus said Friday.

Williams will be away from the team due to a personal matter. He does not have a timetable for return. Eberflus will call the Bears’ defensive plays in Williams’ absence.

Williams, 53, is in his second stint as an NFL DC. He served in that capacity for the Vikings during part of Leslie Frazier‘s tenure in the 2010s. Also serving as the Lions’ DBs coach under Jim Caldwell for four years, Williams spent 14 years — over two separate stints — with the Colts during his 23-year run in the NFL. The Colts employed Williams as their DBs coach under Tony Dungy and later Caldwell and then as their safeties coach under Reich.

Eberflus calling signals will not mark too much of a change, considering he is a defensive-minded HC who served as the Colts’ defensive play-caller from 2018-21. The Bears are coming off a tough season on defense, dropping to last place in points allowed as they retooled in the first year of the Eberflus-Ryan Poles regime last season. The team struggled to match up with the Packers in their first post-Aaron Rodgers outing, with the Jordan Love-led team putting up 38 points (though, one of those scores came on a Quay Walker INT return) in Week 1.

It is certainly not uncommon for defense-oriented coaches to also call the signals for his team, and the COVID-19 pandemic involved several HCs and coordinators missing games due to contracting the virus. Eberflus said that would be the best option in Williams’ absence than handing the duties off to one of his defensive assistants. While some teams have an experienced option as a senior defensive assistant — a position the Bears utilized via the Mike Pettine hire in 2021 — no other Chicago assistant has called defensive plays for an NFL team. That said, the Bears have experienced defensive backs coaches in Jon Hoke and Andre Curtis, who have respectively been NFL staffers for 18 and 17 seasons.

NFC Coaching Notes: Eberflus, Bucs, Panthers, Giants, Packers

Although Matt Eberflus landed the Bears job because of the Colts’ defensive performance, Chicago’s new HC is planning more of a CEO-type role for himself. Eberflus is not planning to call defensive plays for the Bears this season, via The Athletic’s Adam Jahns (on Twitter). Instead, new Chicago DC Alan Williams will handle that responsibility. Williams, 52, has previous DC experience, working under Leslie Frazier in Minnesota in the early 2010s, and has enjoyed a few tours as a DBs coach. This will be an interesting transition for Eberflus, a first-time HC. It will not be a notable transition for the Bears, who spent much of the past two seasons with their head coach operating in a CEO-type capacity. Matt Nagy handed off play-calling duties to then-OC Bill Lazor in each of the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC coaching carousel:

  • The Buccaneers are set to go through a major transition, with Tom Brady‘s retirement ending a brief but successful era that likely doubled as the second-highest peak in franchise history. But Bruce Arians is not eyeing a rebuild. The fourth-year Bucs HC denied a report that indicated the team would allow assistants to pursue other jobs even if the new positions were not promotions, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman (on Twitter). It looks like Arians will keep both coordinators — Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles — for the 2022 season, so Tampa Bay will still feature considerable continuity despite Brady’s departure and the presumptive exits of some key free agents.
  • Circling back to the Bears, the team made some additional hires in recent days. New OC Luke Getsy‘s right-hand man on the Justin Fields front will be Andrew Janocko, Chicago’s new quarterbacks coach. Janocko spent the past seven seasons with the Vikings, ending the run by serving as their QBs coach in 2021. He also worked as the Vikes’ receivers coach and assistant O-line coach at points during his long Minnesota tenure. The Bears also hired James Rowe as their secondary coach. Rowe will come over after serving as the Colts’ cornerbacks coach. David Overstreet, Indianapolis’ assistant DBs coach, will also follow Eberflus and fill the same position with the Bears. Overstreet moved up from the quality control level with Indy in 2021.
  • Former Packers offensive line coach James Campen landed a job as the Panthers‘ O-line coach, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Following a 12-year tenure in Green Bay, Campen will begin the 2022 season with a new team for the fourth straight year. He coached the Browns, Chargers and Texans’ O-lines from 2019-21.
  • Giants running backs coach Burton Burns is expected to retire, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post tweets. Burns, 69, began coaching in 1981 and spent the past two years as the Giants’ RBs coach — his only NFL position during his career. Fellow college-staff veteran Kevin Sherrer is expected to follow Burns on the way out, per Dunleavy. Sherrer served as the Giants’ linebackers coach last season and migrated to the NFL level, like Burns, for the first time in 2020.
  • To replace tight ends coach Justin Outten, who made a big leap to become the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, the Packers promoted John Dunn. Although this is a promotion, after Dunn spent the 2021 season as an offensive analyst in Green Bay, he coached Jets tight ends from 2019-20.

Bears To Hire Alan Williams As DC

Matt Eberflus isn’t making the move alone. The Bears are set to hire Colts safeties coach Alan Williams as their new defensive coordinator, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Bears Hire Matt Eberflus As Head Coach]

Williams joined the Colts in 2018, the same year as Eberflus. Together, they helped guide the Colts to two playoff appearances across four years. Before that, Williams served as the Lions’ defensive backs coach for four seasons, but he has DC experience dating back to his time with the Vikings. All in all, he’s got more than 20 years of pro coaching on his resume.

Between Eberflus, new GM Ryan Poles, assistant GM Ian Cunningham, and Williams, there’s a clear pipeline forming between Illinois and Indianapolis. There may be even more to come, which means more work for Colts GM Chris Ballard as he reshapes his staff and front office.

“We think it’s win-win,’’ Ballard said recently (via FOX 59). “[The Bears are] getting some really good, only people, but also some really good football coaches coming into your organization as we will going forward here.’’

Colts To Interview Jim Schwartz For DC

With Matt Eberflus departing Indianapolis to become head coach of the Bears, the Colts are in need of a new defensive coordinator. After interviewing Jaguars DC Joe Cullen and WFT defensive backs coach Chris Harris this weekend, the club plans to speak with Titans senior defensive assistant Jim Schwartz for the job.

It was Schwartz’s work as Tennessee’s DC from 2001-08 that landed him the Lions’ head coaching job in 2009, and he remained in Detroit for five seasons, compiling a 29-51 record during that time (though he did secure a rare playoff appearance for the team in 2011). He enjoyed a successful season as the Bills’ defensive coordinator in 2014, but then-HC Doug Marrone resigned following that campaign, and new HC Rex Ryan brought in his own staff.

Schwartz, now 55, served as the Eagles’ DC from 2016-2020, a run that included a championship ring. His Super Bowl-winning defense ranked fourth in the league, and his unit was ranked in the top-10 against the run from 2017-19. After his contract with Philadelphia expired at the end of the 2020 season, he initially planned to sit out 2021, though the Titans convinced him to come back in something of an advisory role. After finishing as a bottom-five defense in terms of yards allowed in 2020, Tennessee was ranked 12th in the league in that regard in 2021.

Colts HC Frank Reich arrived in Philadelphia with Schwartz in 2016 and spent the 2016-17 seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator, so there is an obvious familiarity there. And Schwartz has a long track record of success, so while this is the first reported interest in him in this year’s coaching cycle, Reich could do much worse in his quest to replace Eberflus.

In related news, Reich may be losing his safeties coach, Alan Williams. We heard on Friday that Williams is a candidate to become Eberflus’ defensive coordinator in Chicago, and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweeted this morning that Eberflus is indeed targeting Williams.

Colts To Interview Joe Cullen For DC

One day after losing Matt Eberflus to the Bears, the Colts have begun their search for a new defensive coordinator. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports (via Twitter) that they will interview Jaguars DC Joe Cullen on Saturday. 

Joel Erickson of the Indy Star tweets that the Colts will also be interviewing WFT defensive backs coach Chris Harris on the weekend. The 39-year-old had an eight-year playing career, and immediately transitioned to coaching after his retirement. He has been in Washington since 2020, after stints with the Bears and Chargers.

Cullen was hired one year ago by Jacksonville to take over as DC on Urban Meyer‘s staff. The 54-year-old left his post as the defensive line coach in Baltimore to take the gig, though he already had experience with the Jags in that same position. He has also worked with the Buccaneers, Browns and Lions at the NFL level.

Cullen was most recently named as a candidate to return to the Ravens after they parted ways with DC Don Martindale. Ultimately, Mike Macdonald got hired for that role, but Cullen is set to be one of “a number of outside candidates” the Colts will meet with.

Breer adds that Colts safeties coach Alan Williams will be among the candidates for the Bears’ DC vacancy. Given his connection with Eberflus, a move to Chicago certainly wouldn’t be surprising if it were to happen. Regardless, it was also announced recently that the Colts have parted ways with DL coach Brian Baker, who had been with the team for the past two seasons. Stay tuned for all the latest updates on the various changes to the Colts’ staff.

Coaching Rumors: Jets, Cowboys, Giants

Josh McDaniels‘ decision to break his agreement to become the Colts’ next head coach could hypothetically push the NFL to change its hiring rules, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Currently, teams aren’t allowed to formally hire coaches who are still employed by playoff clubs, but that hadn’t been an impediment given that no presumptive head coach had backed out of a reported deal. Had McDaniels been able to be officially offered the Indianapolis job several weeks ago, the Colts may have been aware of his wariness at the time. The NFL discussed a possible hiring rule change in 2017, but tabled the discussion, per Florio.

Here’s more from the 2018 coaching carousel:

  • The Jets announced that Jeremy Bates, who was recently promoted to offensive coordinator, will also retain his role as the club’s quarterbacks coach. While Bates will have two jobs, he’ll be able to rely on the expertise of assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi and longtime NFL offensive coordinator — and new New York offensive line coach/run game coordinator — Rick Dennison. Bates & Co. will likely be working with at least one new signal-caller in 2018, although the Jets are open to re-signing veteran passer Josh McCown.
  • Former Patriots assistant Ray “Bubba” Ventrone will be hired as the Colts‘ new special teams coordinator, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Ventrone, who played for four NFL teams, had been a New England staffer since 2015, but this will be his first run as a coordinator. Indianapolis is also expected to hire ex-Lions defensive backs coach Alan Williams for the same role, per Marvez, while Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link) former Buccaneers assistant Dave Borgonzi will become the Colts’ next linebackers coach.
  • The Cowboys have finalized their 2017 coaching staff by hiring Doug Colman as their assistant special teams coach, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Colman spent the past four seasons in the same role for the cross-state Texans. He’s expected to be the last major hire on Jason Garrett‘s staff after Dallas promoted Keith O’Quinn to ST coordinator and hired Doug Nussmeier as tight ends coach.
  • Florida Atlantic University defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin is joining the NFL ranks, as he’s agreed to become the 49ers‘ pass rush specialist, according to Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated. Kiffin comes from a long line of NFL coaches, as he’s the brother of Lane Kiffin and the son of Monte Kiffin. In San Francisco, he’ll work with young defenders Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, and DeForest Buckner.
  • The Giants have announced new head coach Pat Shurmur‘s staff, and the new list of assistants contains several holdovers. Rob Leonard (assistant linebackers), Ryan Roeder (offensive assistant) and Bobby Blick (defensive assistant) will all stick around.