The Chicago Bears defensive coordinator job has suddenly become available, and it might be the most sought-after for any available coach on the market. It’s not hard to see why. The unit finished #1 in the NFL this past season and holds a nucleus of talent loaded with All-Pros like Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, and Kyle Fuller. There are few better situations a man could ever hope to walk into.
Vic Fangio helped make it that way and he reaped the rewards, becoming head coach of the Denver Broncos. Long overdue if one’s honest about it. Still, his loss is deeply felt. Replacing him is going to prove difficult. The Bears made a late attempt to sign respected coach Todd Bowles but he’d already committed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This has left the Bears fan base debating who the team may or may not want to go after. There are plenty of popular names including former head coaches like Chuck Pagano or Steve Wilks, longtime defensive coordinators like Dom Capers or Gregg Williams, and promising assistants too.
One name though that should be atop the list has drawn out a ton of infighting between fans, many of whom love the idea and many of whom absolutely do not.
Rex Ryan dividing many as possible next Chicago Bears defensive coordinator
The name Rex Ryan these days creates plenty of discussions. Many see him as one of the best defensive coaches of this era. A second-generation prodigy who learned at the knee of former Bears great Buddy Ryan. Others see him as a loudmouthed basket case with way too many personality quirks that are an unnecessary distraction.
He has extensive knowledge of multiple schemes and is known for having an attacking mentality. During four years as a defensive coordinator in Baltimore, his units finished 5th, 1st, 6th, and 2nd in total yards allowed. Even his first two years as a head coach with the Jets they finished 5th and 8th respectively. The man knows defense.
He also got a tattoo of his starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, released a foot fetish video involving he and his wife, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind when in front of a camera. It’s hard to tell for sure if the guy can be serious enough to help this team win football games. Hence why more than a few people aren’t wild about the idea.
Obviously #Bears have some in-house candidates like Ed Donatell as well.
I'm strictly speaking outside candidates.
Could also add Jack Del Rio to that list as well.
Two guys I don't want? Rex Ryan or Dom Capers.
— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) January 9, 2019
The biggest part of the @ChicagoBears offseason besides staying healthy was probably retaining Fangio. Huge blow. Terrified of a Rex Ryan kind of hire.
— Tyson (@HalasBearReport) January 9, 2019
I don't want Rex Ryan to be the Bears' new DC even tho he's not as bad at defense as he is at being a held coach. Still, it's a young man's league now.#NoCountryForOldMen
— Smokkee G Singleton (@MrGBIZ) January 9, 2019
Stoppp Rex Ryan is horrible and I doubt any players would follow after what said about parkley
— Money making Mitch (@trubiskjesus) January 9, 2019
Rex Ryan is about one thing and one thing only…Rex Ryan. No thanks
— Jonny5 (@CubbyBear44) January 9, 2019
Please not Rex Ryan
— Caleb Bryant (@caleb5434) January 9, 2019
A few things to note here. Even though Ryan has been out of the league for two years, he’s still only 56 years old. Fangio is 60. There have also been plenty of instances of former players speaking openly about how much they love playing for him. So to say he’s too old and doesn’t know how to motivate players is untrue.
Nobody can say Ryan is the favorite for the job at this point. He hasn’t made his intentions to return to coaching clear. Still, if ever there was a coordinator job he’d be open to taking, it would be this one. Both for quality and nostalgic reasons. Is he qualified for it? Yes. It becomes a matter of whether or not head coach Matt Nagy can put up with his flamboyant personality.