The situation regarding the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator position is extremely fluid. A couple days ago it was reported the team had heavy interest in retaining Vic Fangio. That hasn’t changed to this point. Initially it appeared the two sides were progressing towards a new deal. Those talks seem to have stalled for the moment. Exactly why remains a mystery. It could be over money or the possibility that Fangio wishes to wait and see if more options open up.
That’s well within his right of course, but it does put the Bears in an awkward position. They can’t afford to wait on him forever. This might be why they’ve begun to at least explore other possibilities in the event that Fangio chooses to leave. Ironically his exit might open the door for them to land an equally good option elsewhere.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune uncovered some interesting information regarding both Fangio and a developing situation out in Arizona. It was reported recently that Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur could be the favorite to land that job. In such an event that might be enough to lure Fangio west.
“Fangio is believed to be a possibility to take a job with Shurmur.”
Where it gets interesting is what might happen in such an event.
Chicago Bears defensive coordinator search zeroing in on James Bettcher
Biggs went on to explain that the team has inquired about the possibility of Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher being available. To this point there’s no indication either way of whether they can speak to him. Much of that is due to his waiting on whether the team might promote him to head coach. In the event that doesn’t happen though, Chicago has a serious shot at landing him.
“A source said Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher would be interested in talking to the Bears if the Cardinals don’t promote him to head coach. Bettcher clearly isn’t doing anything as long as he’s in play for the Cardinals’ top spot.
However, Bettcher has one year remaining on his contract and the Bears would have to request permission from the Cardinals to meet with the Lakeville, Ind., native who grew up a Bears fan.”
Bettcher is considered one of the rising stars in the NFL. The 39-year old has run the Cardinals defense for three seasons. During that time they’ve finished 5th, 2nd and 6th respectively in total defense. He runs a 3-4 alignment so it wouldn’t be a hard transition at all for him to make to Chicago in the event Arizona let him walk. The fact he has a personal stake in the Bears? That’s just icing on the cake.
All of this hinges on what Fangio does next. It wouldn’t matter if he re-ups with Chicago as originally expected. If he doesn’t, things will get interesting.