In a move that seemed rather unlikely just a few weeks ago, Brad Biggs is reporting that the Chicago Bears have convinced defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to sign a contract that will keep him in charge of his burgeoning defense. He’ll join new head coach Matt Nagy’s coaching staff, and will provide a veteran sounding board for the 39-year old first time head coach.
He’ll also be able to have a situation similar to his time working with head coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and in San Francisco. Back then, Harbaugh was focused on the offense leaving Fangio alone to coach up the defense. Nagy has already said that he’ll leave his defense up to his defensive coordinator, and some of the friction Fangio had the last few years in Chicago could have had something to do with his boss, John Fox, needing to have defensive input.
Fangio came in with head coach John Fox three years ago, and Chicago’s defense has really made strides. In 2014, the final year of the Mel Tucker coordinated defense, Chicago ranked 30th in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed.
After Fangio’s first season (2015), the Bears’ defense improved to 20th in points allowed and 14th in yards allowed, and last year (2017) they were up to 9th in points allowed and 10th in total yards allowed.
According to Football Outsider’s DVOA rankings, the Bears went from 29th in Fangio’s first season coordinating the D, to 14th this season.
And according to the Aikman Efficiency ratings, the Bears improved from 22nd during Fangio’s first year in Chicago all the way up to 6th in 2017.
The Bears’ defensive players all wanted Fangio to return so they can keep building their unit up, and now they’ll have the chance to grow together even more.
Now that Fangio is back, the odds are fairly high that the Bears will retain some of, if not all of, his defensive coaches.
What are your thoughts on Fangio staying?