The Chicago Bears interviewed Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio for the team’s vacant head coaching position, which is a change of pace from the young, offensive-leaning coach many have come to expect the Bears will hire to replace John Fox.
Hell, it doesn’t hurt to interview one of the league’s most respected defensive minds who already has a good relationship with his players and probably has an idea or two on how the offense can right the ship.
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets the Bears are expected to make a push to keep their defensive coordinator, who is a free agent after his contract expired at season’s end. And if it’s not at head coach, the team could retain him for another season as the team’s defensive coordinator.
The Bears could be creative in bringing Fangio back in some capacity. Perhaps a significant raise that would put him at the top of the league’s highest-paid coordinators and a fancy title (such as assistant head coach, like Steve Wilks in Carolina) could keep Fangio in Chicago. It’s an idea that’s crazy enough to work. And handing out a top salary to an assistant could be something to sweeten the pot for head coaching candidates who would otherwise be worried about not having the necessary funds to build a competitive coaching staff.
The front office has spoken about the value in continuity and referenced it most recently in Monday’s press conference when GM Ryan Pace received a two-year contract extension. On the field and in the film room, the Bears could use some continuity in the form of keeping Fangio around to see through the end of his defense’s rebuild (especially with Dowell Loggains onto greener pastures).
Fangio took over a defense that ranked in the bottom five in yards allowed and scoring defense and coached it up into a top-10 group. Surely, Fox (as the team’s head coach) and Pace (as the general manager who put pieces in place) had their hand in Chicago’s defense turning the corner. But with Fox out of the picture, Fangio’s return feels that much more important for a unit that can’t afford to take a step back after seeing how far it has come since the Mel Tucker days.