With the hiring of Matt Nagy as the team’s new head coach, the focus has now shifted to filling out the rest of the coaching staff for the Chicago Bears.
The biggest name the team wishes to retain is defensive coordinator Vic Fangio who has coached the defense the last three seasons. It was just five years ago that the Bears found themselves in a very similar situation which resulted in a very harsh outcome.
When the team decided to part ways with coach Lovie Smith following the 2012 season, then general manager Phil Emery was looking for an offensive-minded coach. The team chose Marc Trestman to provide the team offense and to get the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler. Emery and the front office were keen on keeping Rod Marinelli as the team’s defensive coordinator after the team had the third-ranked defense in 2012.
Marinelli chose to become the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator and the Bears hired Mel Tucker to replace him.
Heading into the 2013 season, Tucker transitioned the Bears defense from a cover 2 style defense to a traditional 4-3 style defense. The move initially was a success as the Bears started the season with three wins and the defense forced 11 turnovers in those three games. Following the three games, the Bears defense would be historically bad as they set many team records including most points given up and rushing yards allowed.
Many called for Tucker to replaced following a defensive secondary breakdown that cost the team a win and division title in the last game of the season against the Packers. The Bears front office chose to keep Tucker for the 2014 season which turned out to be even worse defensively than the prior year. The lowlight included back to back 50 point losses against the New England Patriots and Packers with a bye week in between.
The defensive futility led to the firing of general manager Emery, head coach Trestman, and his coaching staff following the 2014 season. The defense would rank last in most categories over the two-year span under Tucker. The Bears would then hire John Fox as head coach who brought in Fangio with the task of restoring the defense.
In the last two seasons, the Bears defense has returned to prominence as the team has garnered a top 10 total defensive ranking the last two seasons. It is this specific reason to why the Bears are hoping to retain Fangio as the defensive coordinator with Nagy being the head coach.
If the team is able to bring Fangio back, it would simplify and reduce a lot of roster issues for both Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. The team would be able to keep their defensive continuity and the players that specific fit Fangio’s scheme. It also eases the responsibilities and workload for the team’s new head coach as Fangio would be fully responsible for any decisions on defense.
The failure of Trestman and Tucker has provided the Bears will the importance of trying to keep some form positives from a previous coaching staff.
The team’s chances of being competitive and making the playoffs next season would be higher if Fangio does return. The team’s biggest goal is to get the most out of their young quarterback, but their second biggest goal would be continue the defensive success seen the last two seasons.