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LAKE FOREST — The Chicago Bears have relieved running backs coach David Walker of his duties, marking the second coach to depart Halas Hall this season for reasons that were not fully explained.
The news was confirmed by Bears head coach Matt Eberflus, who said the decision was made with support from ownership, team president Kevin Warren and general manager Ryan Poles.
“As the head coach, we are building a program and have standards to uphold to as a staff and organization both on and off the field, and those standards were not met,” Eberflus said at a Wednesday morning press conference. “I’m not going to get into details other than he’s no longer on the staff.”
Walker was fired due to his behavior in the workplace, and the human resources department was involved in the decision, according to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.
Eberflus declined to comment when asked directly if Walker’s dismissal was due to behavioral issues.
Omar Young, who was the assistant quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach, will take over as the running backs coach for the Bears.
Walker is the second Bears’ assistant coach to be let go this season. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned from his position on September 20. Williams wrote in a statement that he took a step back from the organization so that he could take care of his health and family.
Eberflus also mentioned that he addressed the changes with his staff, the team’s leadership council and the entire football team on Wednesday morning.
The Bears’ coach was asked about his level of accountability he has in this situation.
“It’s disappointing from my vantage point,” Eberflus said. “But we have a standard to uphold to, and when that standard is not met, we act and we act accordingly. That’s what we did today.”
Despite two assistant coaches being no longer a part of the organization, Eberflus said “absolutely not” to the idea of there being a culture problem with the Bears.
“The culture in our building is outstanding,” Eberflus said. “The guys work hard every single day. The relationship piece is there. We care about each other. We’re working diligently to get this thing turned. We’re 2-2 in the last two games. One game was real close, had a chance at that one. And we really feel we’re turning the corner there, and we feel excited about this week. But to answer your question, the culture is awesome.”
Walker has had 27 years of coaching experience and was in his ninth season coaching in the NFL. Prior to joining the Bears in 2022, Walker was Lions’ running backs coach from 2016-2018. He also had a four-year stint in the same position in Indianapolis.
Eberflus and Walker did not overlap at any point in their respective coaching careers before the two joining the Bears.
Wednesday’s news becomes the latest in what has featured plenty of off the field problems for the Bears’ organization.
“Our guys are resilient,” Eberflus said. “They really are. They are tough-minded. They’ve been through adversity. The culture is great here. Our guys work their tails off and you guys see the locker room, you know what it’s like. It is where it is and guys move forward.”
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