Matt Nagy was the one pushing the concept of obsession during offseason training activities, and that idea permeated throughout the roster during OTAs, training camp, the preseason, and eventually a 12-win and NFC North title-earning regular season in 2018. So perhaps it’s only fitting that his next defensive coordinator is ready to bring that same energy.
“Knowing what I know now, having a chance to sit back and reflect and evaluate a lot of things that we did both good and bad, now you have an opportunity to hopefully — if you have another opportunity, whether it’s a head coach, a coordinator or assistant coach, it doesn’t matter,” Chuck Pagano said on NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport’s podcast back in December. “I just love coaching. I love the camaraderie, the competition, games, that’s what you really miss.”
Cerebral and passionate? Yep. Sounds like the kind of coach Nagy would want on his staff. Of course, Nagy and the Bears weren’t alone in expressing interest in the former Indianapolis Colts head coach. The Packers and Broncos interviewed Pagano for their vacant head-coaching positions, the Cardinals and Browns had an interest in bringing him on as a defensive coordinator, and the Panthers interviewed Pagano for an unspecified coaching role. There was quite the market for Pagano’s services and the Bears came out on top. Let’s not lose sight of that score.
So while Pagano didn’t have specifics on where he wanted to be or what he wanted to do from a coaching standpoint, he just knew he wanted to get back in the mix. Soon, he’ll get his chance with a defense that was as good as they get during the regular season.