The Chicago Bears defensive coordinator search began the moment Vic Fangio accepted the offer to become head coach of the Denver Broncos. This is nothing new for the Bears. They have a long history of losing great coordinators to head coaching jobs. It was true of George Allen and Buddy Ryan. Now Fangio. The key is whether they will be able to find a favorable replacement.
Some names have popped up on the rumor mill from Buddy’s son Rex Ryan to longtime coordinator and Fangio mentor Dom Capers. However, those aren’t the two names that were the first to surface around the team. After Todd Bowles fell through by accepting the offer to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bears moved their search forward.
They began with an in-house interview with secondary coach Ed Donatell. This isn’t a surprise. He’s been the right hand man of Fangio for years and was a key figure in developing Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson into All-Pros. However, there is another name on that list. One that carries plenty of intrigue.
Chicago Bears Chuck Pagano connection makes plenty of sense
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have their eyes firmly fixed on former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. He spent all of 2018 out of the league but word is he’s interested in a return now and is open to a coordinator role, something he briefly did back in 2011 before being fast-tracked to the Colts job.
“The Bears are also believed to be keenly interested in meeting with former Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who is reportedly in the mix with several clubs. He could be the No. 1 outside target for Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace.
A source said the Bears are driven to seek a quality candidate who runs a 3-4 scheme, although they would not rule out someone with a 4-3 background. That’s not considered a huge issue because the defense lined up in a three-man front much less than a four-man front as the modern NFL calls for such a heavy reliance on nickel and other sub packages.”
There is plenty to like and understand about this move.
Pagano is known as a coach who related very well to players and has a keen attention to detail. His Baltimore Ravens unit eight years ago ranked 3rd in the NFL. That was a 3-4 type of system, so it wouldn’t be much of a transition for this Bears defense under his guidance.
He also has a deep background in defensive backs, so there shouldn’t be any sort of drop off with the secondary. Pagano feels like exactly the type of personality GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy would covet. Energetic, upbeat, but ultra-competitive.