The Bears on Sunday signed unrestricted free agent defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad to a two-year contract.
Muhammad, 26, spent the last four seasons playing on a Colts defense that was coordinated by first-year Bears coach Matt Eberflus.
The 6-4, 250-pounder appeared in 64 games with 25 starts for Indianapolis, registering 124 tackles, 11.0 sacks, 22 tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
“Quan represents the play style coach Eberflus wants our entire team to have,” said general manager Ryan Poles. “His motor and desire to affect the game stands out. We are excited to have him. We would like to thank Drew Rosenhaus at Rosenhaus Sports for helping bring him to Chicago.”
His experience in Eberflus’ defense in Indianapolis should help Muhammad make a smooth transition with the Bears.
“I’m extremely excited,” Muhammad said Sunday during a Zoom call with the media. “It’s going to be great for me and great for the guys that surround me because I know the scheme and I’ve played in that scheme for several years. It’s a winning scheme. I’m excited about that.”
Muhammad was selected by New Orleans in the sixth round of the 2017 draft out of Miami and played in four games as a rookie, all as a reserve, recording four tackles. He was claimed by the Colts off waivers from the Saints prior to the start of the 2018 season.
Last season was Muhammad’s first as a regular starter; he opened all 17 games and compiled career highs with 48 tackles and 6.0 sacks while also amassing seven tackles-for-loss.
The percentage of defensive snaps he played with the Colts increased each of the last three years from 42 to 47 to 56 to 73 percent.
Muhammad told reporters that he’s thrilled to rejoin Eberflus with the Bears.
“The appreciation I have for coach Eberflus is the love that he has for the game,” Muhammad said. “He’s the same guy every day; high-energy guy. He brings the juice. Nobody wants to win more than Eberflus and I think a lot of people around here are going to see that. We’re all in this business to win, to win a Super Bowl.
“He’s going to give you his all. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play for a guy that brings the juice, that wants to win, that’s the same guy every day? A great person. Very family-oriented. He’s all about family. He’s all about winning. But not only that, he does it in a way so he’s teaching you a lot of things along the way that a lot of us as young men will carry with us for the rest of our life.
“So, it’s just an honor to be a part of this culture, the family, Chicago Bears. We’re looking to do great things here. It’s an honor.”
Muhammad recalled the transition process he experienced when Eberflus became Colts defensive coordinator.
“I had to figure out the scheme,” Muhammad said. “I had to figure out the message that he was giving. And I had to figure out how to do it on a consistent basis. I had to figure out how to do it every day. I had to change my perspective, change my mindset and I had to really just buy in.
“It wasn’t hard to buy in because the way the scheme is set up. If you’re not playing at a fast pace, you’re not running to the ball, punching at the ball, stripping at the ball, just 11 guys to the ball, you’re not going to play. I bought into that immediately, and I train that way during the offseason. I train that way. Getting to the ball is always on my mind. That’s pretty much what he’s about, just having eight, nine, 10, all 11 guys to the ball. I think that’s a special thing. You got a special defense if you got 11 guys running to the ball.”