Bears Reportedly Blocked 49ers Move to Land Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio

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Bears Reportedly Blocked 49ers Move to Land Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio

Chicago Bears

Vic Fangio inherited a mess when he joined the Chicago Bears as John Fox’s defensive coordinator two years ago. Thanks to former defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, the Bears’ defense was left in the dust schematically and was home to a defensive talent pool that was left shallow and depleted by former GM Phil Emery.

That one-two combination in an offense-first league has left the Bears playing catch-up in the first two years of the Fox-Fangio era, but credit that tandem for making the Bears respectable again with that regard. Although the Bears were in the bottom third of the league in points allowed per game, they were middle of the pack in yards per game allowed. Moreover, Football Outsiders’ defensive efficiency rankings pegged the Bears as the 22nd best defense in 2016 (or 11th worst, if you want to be all negative) – a sharp improvement from 2015, when the Bears were ranked second to last.

Apparently, Fangio must be doing something right because Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that the San Francisco 49ers – who once employed Fangio as their defensive coordinator – made a request to bring Fangio back to San Francisco. The move was blocked by the Bears, who would not let him out of his contract, which reportedly runs through the 2017 season.

This move (or non-move, as it turns out) says a lot considering the reported power struggle between Fox and Fangio from earlier this winter that had Fangio rumored to be leaving the Bears after the season.

Fangio is arguably the most important coach currently a part of the Bears’ rebuild, as he leads a unit that has been asked to carry more than its fair share of weight while the offense tries to play catch-up. Offenses make highlight reels, as they say, but defenses win championships. And since the Bears’ offense doesn’t have much to put on a highlight tape right now, the Bears can’t afford to lose the defense’s architect.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.