Matt Nagy Says He Has a Plan *IF* Vic Fangio Leaves to Take a Head Coaching Job

Should the Chicago Bears lose their defensive coordinator to a head-coaching position elsewhere, at least we know they’ll be prepared to tackle the situation.

Head Coach Matt Nagy said there is a contingency plan in place if Fangio (or any coach) leaves. Well, that’s encouraging. I’d hate to think a head coach as detail-oriented and prepared as Nagy isn’t prepared to deal with the possibility of losing an assistant coach on a well-built staff. *snickers in John Fox’s general direction*

Contingency plans aren’t just good, they’re expected. Assistants who interview for head-coaching gigs are expected to have a list of potential coaches (yes, coaches … as in plural) they want to bring on their staff. Having a variety of names shows potential bosses you have a network you can dial into if needed, an ability to fall back to a Plan B or even Plan C if Option A is unavailable, and – to an extent – a level of preparedness that is an admirable trait for those involved in the hiring process. So at least Nagy is ready for Fangio’s departure if it gets that far.

It’s far too early to do a deep dive on which direction Nagy would go if it comes to it because, well, Fangio is still his defensive coordinator. And since the dynamic of Nagy doing his thing and Fangio running the defense as he sees fit as a de facto head coach is going so well, I don’t see a scenario where the DC is chased out of town by the head coach. As they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But still … there are some early names worth keeping tabs on moving forward.

Todd Bowles has a long-standing relationship with Nagy and would be the most logical outsider candidate to take Fangio’s place if he leaves to take a head coaching opportunity. Bowles has been a successful defensive coordinator in the past and has familiarity with running successful 3-4 defenses.

Should the Bears lean toward hiring an in-house replacement, Defensive Backs Coach Ed Donatell seems like an ideal choice. Donatell has previous experience as a DC (Packers, 2000-03; Falcons 2004-06) and has been the leader of the most improved group on the defensive side of the ball. Donatell has been coached with Fangio since the two were assistants on Jim Harbaugh’s staff on the San Francisco 49ers. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if Fangio poached Donatell to be his DC if he became a head coach.

An outside-the-box candidate for the position might be Steve Wilks. The Bears wanted to interview Wilks for their head coach opening last offseason, but Wilks declined to participate. He eventually became the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach before being fired at the end of the 2018 season. Tough break. Wilks has a past in Chicago, serving as a DBs coach under Lovie Smith from 2006-09 before following Ron Rivera to San Diego (DBs Coach, 2009-11) and Carolina (2012-17). It appeared as if Wilks’ stock was on the rise in recent years. He added the title of Assistant Head Coach in 2015, then became the team’s DC two years later. I can’t help but wonder if Wilks (who having coached under Rivera makes him a branch off of a branch of the Andy Reid tree) is a fit in Chicago for this position.

In the end, it’s probably too early to make a call as far as the future goes. The Bears (including Fangio) are focused on the here-and-now, and we should probably follow suit. After all, it’s playoff week in Chicago. We can cross future bridges when we get there.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

more bears news

The Quarterback Tapes: Caleb Williams vs. Utah (2023)

A quick note about the series: Initially, the plan was to focus on Caleb Williams. And then it became Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. After that, it then became Williams, Maye, and Jayden Daniels. With how this has evolved, I'm retitling it...

Here Are 5 Franchise Tag Situations the Bears Should Be Monitoring

The Chicago Bears aren't the only team with a potential Franchise Tag situation on their hands. What happens with cornerback Jaylon Johnson between today and the March 5 deadline to designate a Franchise Tag (or Transition Tag) player is still...

CJ Stroud Zings the Bears While Backing Justin Fields

If you thought CJ Stroud was going to say anything other than a word of support for fellow Ohio State brethren Justin Fields, then you thought wrong. Of course, Stroud showed support for the embattled Bears QB1. But what I...

Meet the Newbies on Matt Eberflus’ Chicago Bears Coaching Staff

One day after finalizing the 2024 coaching staff, Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus introduced his new coaches on Thursday afternoon. https://youtu.be/n03QoViMNqQ?si=rjAht4tdN8aL5REh We've got thoughts, analysis, and insight on the newbies in town. But I'll save my thoughts on Eberflus'...

Matthew Berry’s Thoughts on Bryce Young, Bears-Panthers Trade, and Drake Maye

The hype for this NFL offseason surrounds the Chicago Bears and the number one overall pick. This is thanks to the blockbuster trade before the 2023 NFL Draft that sent DJ Moore, two first-round picks, and two second-round picks to...

QB1 chatter, Fields Enters GOAT Debate, Jaylon, Mongo, and Other Bears Bullets

My to-do list looks like a CVS receipt. So the sooner I get through Bears Bullets, the better off we'll be. ICYMI: I attended the QB1 Town Hall debate held by 670 The Score and shared a collection of thoughts...

Here’s My Story From the Chicago Bears QB1 Town Hall Debate

I went to the 670 The Score Chicago Bears QB1 Town Hall on Wednesday and lived to tell about it. What follows below are the nuggets, tidbits, insight, perspective, and more that I gained from the experience. Full disclosure: At...

WHEW: Justin Fields Explains Why He Unfollowed the Bears on IG

Remember when we said that it would be silly to be concerned over Justin Fields' social media usage? On the latest episode of the St. Brown Bros podcast Fields confirms that there's nothing to be concerned about when it comes...

QB1 Town Hall, Reflecting on Fields Era, Weird Mock Drafts, and Other Bears Bullets

Today, in downtown Chicago, 670 The Score is hosting a QB1 Town Hall type of meeting with fans and hosts discussing the future of the Chicago Bears quarterback position. And, yes, I'll be in attendance. I hope this is one...

The Caleb Williams Tapes: Washington (2023)

Caleb Williams' performance against Washington in November was a polarizing game. It was the game when we saw Williams have a very human moment, crying in the arms of his mother in the stands after a painful loss to the...

Latest News

Best NBA Prop Bets Today – Friday, February 23, 2024

There are 10 matchups on today's NBA schedule, including the Milwaukee Bucks playing the Minnesota Timberwolves.One of the best ways to wager on the NBA is via NBA player prop bets. There are NBA player props for each of today's...

How to Watch Stanford Cardinal vs. Oregon State Beavers: Live Stream or on TV

The Stanford Cardinal (12-14, 7-9 Pac-12) will look to halt a three-game losing streak when they host the Oregon State Beavers (11-16, 3-13 Pac-12) on February 24, 2024. The Beavers have lost seven games in a row.Stanford dropped its most...

Utah Valley vs. SFA: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (14-12, 7-8 WAC) will try to break a three-game losing streak when they hit the road to take on the Utah Valley Wolverines (13-14, 8-8 WAC) on February 24, 2024 at UCCU Center.Utah Valley won...

How to Watch Arizona Wildcats vs. Washington Huskies: Live Stream or on TV

The No. 4 Arizona Wildcats (20-6, 11-4 Pac-12) host the Washington Huskies (15-12, 7-9 Pac-12) in Pac-12 action at McKale Center, tipping off at 2:00 PM ET on Saturday, February 24, 2024.In its most recent game, Arizona lost to Washington...

How to Watch Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Santa Clara Broncos: Live Stream or on TV

The Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-6, 11-2 WCC) bring a five-game win streak into a home matchup with the Santa Clara Broncos (18-10, 9-4 WCC), winners of three straight.In its most recent game, Gonzaga defeated Portland on Thursday, 86-65. Its top scorer...

Seattle U vs. UT Rio Grande Valley: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (6-20, 2-13 WAC) will try to break a seven-game road slide when they take on the Seattle U Redhawks (17-10, 10-6 WAC) on February 24, 2024 at Redhawk Center.Seattle U was victorious in its...

Hawaii vs. Long Beach State: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Long Beach State Beach (18-9, 10-5 Big West) will try to build on a five-game win streak when they hit the road to take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (15-12, 7-8 Big West) on February 24, 2024 at Stan...

Stony Brook vs. William & Mary: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Stony Brook Seawolves (15-13, 8-7 CAA) aim to build on a five-game home win streak when they host the William & Mary Tribe (8-20, 3-12 CAA) on February 24, 2024.Stony Brook won its most recent game versus N.C. A&T,...

UCSD vs. UC Irvine: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The UCSD Tritons (18-9, 12-3 Big West) will host the UC Irvine Anteaters (20-7, 13-2 Big West) after winning eight home games in a row.On Thursday, in its last game, UCSD defeated UC Riverside 77-65. With 20 points, Aniwaniwa Tait-jones...

Arizona State vs. Washington State: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Washington State Cougars (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) will attempt to extend a five-game road win streak when they visit the Arizona State Sun Devils (13-14, 7-9 Pac-12) on February 24, 2024 at Desert Financial Arena.Arizona State lost its previous game...

more bears news