Newly minted Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano could be digging into his recent past to round out his coaching staff.
Sources inform Doug Samuels of FootballScoop.com that the Bears could hire Ted Monachino away from his new post at Kansas State, where he was recently named the team’s defensive coordinator. No specifics were offered up regarding Monachino’s position or whether a deal was in place to bring him on board, but bringing in a familiar face as an assistant has plenty of precedent.
And as for that familiarity … Pagano and Monachino coached together at stops in Baltimore and Indianapolis. Indeed, Pagano was coaching the Ravens’ secondary and serving his one year as the team’s defensive coordinator, while Monachino was coaching the team’s outside linebackers. Monachino eventually followed Pagano to coach with the Colts, becoming the team’s defensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017.
If you’re looking for a positive spin, Monachino has an extensive coaching history, including a lengthy trip through the college football landscape featuring stops at TCU (Defensive Graduate Assistant), James Madison (Defensive Line Coach), Missouri State (Outside Linebackers Coach), Boise State (Defensive Line Coach), and Arizona State (Defensive Line Coach), as well as four years coaching defensive linemen with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But things ended poorly – statistically – in Indianapolis, and that gives me pause. If you remember, the Colts finished 30th in yards in both seasons under DC Monachino, with the unit bottoming out in 2017, when they finished 30th in yards allowed and points scored, while also finishing 20th in takeaways. Yikes.
But even if his numbers were’t great, Monachino’s résumé is still plenty impressive. And in any case, he’s become the latest name mentioned in connection with a coaching opportunity on the Bears’ defensive staff.
Rob Ryan has also popped up as a rumored candidate to coach outside linebackers. And like Monachino, he’s got ties to Pagano and worked alongside him earlier in his coaching career. But unlike Monachino, Ryan has family ties in Chicago, as the son of legendary defensive mastermind Buddy Ryan.
The Bears will be without OLBs Coach Brandon Staley and Assistant DBs Coach Roy Anderson, who have reportedly not been retained. Additionally, the team is still waiting on a decision from Ed Donatell, who could return to coach the team’s defensive backs for a fifth season if he doesn’t leave to join Vic Fangio in Denver. It’s that time of the year where coaching staffs are being put together, so we’ll keep our eyes open for any shakeups that happen along the way.