The Chicago Bears defense is back to its dominant ways. No doubt the team would much prefer to keep it that way. Of course that could prove challenging given the man who helped build it, Vic Fangio, has departed for Denver to become head coach of the Broncos. Now the team is forced into a difficult situation. Finding somebody who can keep a good thing going.
Mitch Trubisky is not yet ready to carry this Bears team himself. He needs more time to hone his craft and improve. Until then the defense will be expected to carry the load. That’s where the majority of the top tier talent is anyway. While they should remain good for the next couple of years, much of their effectiveness will depend on the man who’s calling the shots.
There are plenty of names passing through the rumor mill so far from Rex Ryan to Chuck Pagano, Steve Wilks, and Vance Joseph. However, if the Bears are dead set on trying to maintain the system that Fangio himself built, then perhaps their best move is to hire the man who basically turned the coordinator into what he is today.
Chicago Bears Dom Capers move could yield big dividends
When the name Dom Capers is mentioned these days, most Bears fans will cringe but for the wrong reason. They think he’s nothing more than a failed defensive coordinator who oversaw mediocre defenses for the Green Bay Packers the past several years. That’s why the team fired him. With most stories like that though, it’s never so cut and dry.
Yes, Capers struggled towards the end of his tenure in Green Bay. From 2013 to 2017, his unit never finished higher than 15th. Was that his fault? Going back through the teams’ drafting of defensive talent from 2010 to 2017, see how many really good or great players are located over that span.
In a span of eight offseasons, the Packers managed to draft four Pro Bowl players. Two of those players were allowed to leave in free agency right as they were reaching their strides and ended up going to the Pro Bowl with other teams. Throw in the fact that Green Bay never even bothered to try finding help via free agency or trade, and it’s little wonder Capers wasn’t able to maintain his early success.
A success that was driven by a strong nucleus led by Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Tramon Williams, and Nick Collins. His defense ranked 7th and 2nd respectively in 2009 and 2010 in points allowed. He also has a longstanding reputation for frustrating quarterbacks thanks to tough coverages and creatives blitzing.
From 2009 to 2015, opposing QBs had an average passer rating of just 78.9. Few understood that better than former Bears starter Jay Cutler. Capers has produced a top 10 scoring defense nine times in his career. He also worked closely with Fangio during his stints as head coach in Carolina and Houston.
He may be 68-years old but he’s accomplished, smart, and no stranger to having full autonomy of a defense. He’d keep the Bears defense well-prepared and perhaps even make them a bit more aggressive than years past.