Everybody agrees at this point that the Chicago Bears coaching situation is going to change on January 2nd, 2018. This isn’t really up for debate anymore. John Fox has endured his third-straight losing season and is very much in danger of claiming the worst winning percentage in Bears history. Not even somebody with his once glowing reputation survives that.
Yet even amidst this carnage, there is an underlying fear among fans. Or maybe a better word is “concern.” If there is one coach they aren’t keen on losing to the coming purge, it’s defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Despite ongoing injury problems his unit has performed ably. Far better than the other two phases during the course of this season.
Unfortunately word persists that he and the rest of the staff are out in 2018. Not just because of the losing, but in Fangio’s case because he wants out. This will leave the Bears in a difficult situation to replace him. Good coordinators are always hard to find. For fans there is a deeper issue though.
Chicago Bears coaching shift may narrow pool because of 3-4 scheme
Back in 2015 for the first time the Bears changed to a 3-4 scheme in the NFL. That was going to require specific types of players in order to execute. Now the fear is the team may not be able to find a coordinator comparable to Fangio who can run their current system. Worse there’s another anxiety. Would they consider going back to a 4-3?
That would be another shift in personnel and more years of waiting for fruits to appear. Except no. It doesn’t have to be that way. If the Bears are able to find a good coach, such an issue can be worked around in fairly short order. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune had a good explanation for why.
“You need to pay close attention to what the defense is doing each Sunday. The Bears — and every other 3-4 defense — are in the sub package so frequently that the number of times they’re in a true 3-4 front is really limited. Floyd has the ability to flourish in a 4-3 scheme, and the Giants likely would have drafted him to play in their 4-3 defense had the Bears not selected him. I’ll stick with what I said last week: The Bears’ focus should be on the best coach, period. Scheme preferences are a secondary consideration.”
Here’s a perfect example. In 2015 the Eagles were a 3-4 defensive team under Chip Kelly and finished the year 30th in the league. The next season they sought out Jim Schwartz as their next defensive coordinator. The problem? He was a classic 4-3 guy. People had the same misgivings in Philadelphia. By the end of the season the Eagles had jumped to 13th in the league.
If you get a good coordinator, he will find a way to apply the best talents of the personnel he has available. That should be the goal for the Bears come this January.