The waiting game is over and it comes with the anticipated and exciting return of Vic Fangio as the Chicago Bears’ defensive coordinator:
#Bears are expected to retain DC Vic Fangio.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 12, 2018
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears and Fangio have agreed to bring his talents back to Chicago on Friday. Fangio was hired as John Fox’s defensive coordinator in 2015 and his three-year turnaround of the Bears’ defense is nothing short of remarkable. Three seasons after inheriting a group coming off a franchise-worst showing in two years under Mel Tucker, the Fangio-led defense ranked in the top-10 in points allowed and total yards. Needless to say, Fangio would’ve been (was?) a highly sought-after coach in the market.
In fact, his return to Chicago was far from certain, especially after the Bears passed him up for the head coach position, despite giving him the first official interview.
In any case, he officially hit free agency on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. and was expected to be a top target for the Green Bay Packers, who were looking to replace Dom Capers. A NFC North battle never came to fruition as the Packers hired Mike Pettine to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Fangio was also connected to head coaching candidate Pat Shurmur as recently as this morning, but the Bears’ defensive coordinator decided to stay the course and remain in Chicago. I’m just so happy about that.
With Fangio in the fold, new head coach Matt Nagy will have a full compliment of coordinators after announcing the hires of Mark Helfrich to lead the offense and Chris Tabor to coach the special teams. More importantly, Fangio’s return maintains stability with an experienced leader for the team’s most productive group.