Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio Expected to Get Serious Interest as a Head-Coaching Candidate

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Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio Expected to Get Serious Interest as a Head-Coaching Candidate

Chicago Bears

It’s about that time of the year when the offensive and defensive coordinators of successful teams start to get love as potential head-coaching candidates elsewhere.

Last week, it was Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich’s name popping up in rumors connecting him to the recently opened University of Colorado head-coaching opportunity. Helfrich has four years of head-coaching experience at Oregon, was Colorado’s OC and QBs Coach from 2006-08, and his time in Chicago tutoring Mitch Trubisky could put him on the path back to being a head coach at the collegiate level again. Today, it’s the team’s defensive coordinator receiving rumored interest elsewhere.

Sources tell CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora that Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio’s name is being tossed out as a possible head-coaching candidate in league circles.

Even though young offensive assistants (you know, guys like Matt Nagy and Sean McVay) have been all the rage in the most recent hiring cycle, things could swing toward hiring defensive assistants and Fangio could conceivably be the guy leading the charge. And why wouldn’t he be? Fangio’s defense ranks in the top-10 in scoring and yardage for a second straight year. It’s not all about the most recent numbers, either. Fangio has built a reputation as a strong defensive coach whose teaching skills have rubbed off on first-round picks, undrafted free agents, and everyone in between. The ability to reach and teach is something that could prove to be highly valued by teams looking for new coaches this offseason.

If Fangio receives serious interest from other teams regarding head-coaching opportunities, he could always call back to his interview with Bears GM Ryan Pace last offseason. Remember, Fangio was the first candidate Pace interviewed for the position that opened up after John Fox was fired at the end of the 2017 regular season. You can read more about Fangio’s credentials here, if you’re intrigued about what might make him a person of interest for inquiring teams.

Should the Bears lose Fangio to a head-coaching gig elsewhere, it would be a pretty big blow for a defense that is thriving, in part, because of the continuity that came with his return to the team in 2018. While Nagy has focused on re-booting the offense, Fangio has acted as the de facto head coach of a defense that is hitting on all cylinders. Having stud players helps a ton, but you can’t deny the Bears defense has improved each year since Fangio’s arrival in 2015. It’s just that this year’s performance is getting some more national pub because the team’s profile is on the rise because the offense is doing its part to help win ball games.

Losing Fangio (and you would presume some assistants on his staff) would stink. It would put the Bears into the market for a new DC, which would be a pretty desirable gig if you really think about it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to coach Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith, Eddie Jackson, and others? Defensive Backs Coach Ed Donatell comes to mind when I start thinking of internal candidates who could fill Fangio’s role should he leave. And while it’s too early to have a strong grasp of possibilities outside of Halas Hall, I can’t help but to think about New York Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles, who has a strong connection to the Bears’ head coach that could make him an intriguing candidate.

The Bears are good, so it shouldn’t be a surprise their assistants have already shown up on the rumor mill as possible head-coaching candidates for other positions. But the Bears have bigger things on their plate with five regular season games remaining and the growing possibility of a potential playoff run in the not-too-distant future. And if Fangio were to leave, we hope it would happen at the conclusion of a Super Bowl run sometime in February.

Author: Luis Medina

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