The departure of ex-defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has been the thing pundits have often pointed to when sharing predictions forecasting the downfall of the 2019 Chicago Bears.
And yet, one the team’s top defenders is already picking up what Chuck Pagano is putting down.
“(Pagano’s pretty impressive,” Fuller said, via The Athletic’s Adam Jahns. “Vic was a great coach. But just working with Chuck now, I’m pretty impressed with his teaching style, his coaching style, his motivational style. He does a pretty good job.”
Not only is Fuller the Bears’ top cornerback, he was a Fangio protégé whose career wouldn’t have been the same without the former Bears DC’s presence and influence.
Fangio’s tough love style of coaching broke Fuller down and built him back up, with the cornerback putting career best performances the last two seasons. Remember, there was a time when Fangio seemed to question the cornerback’s desire to return to the playing field after an injury. But that’s water under the bridge at this point and Fuller is flying high.
Because with the help of Fangio’s tutelage, Fuller went from being on the roster bubble before winning a preseason position battle in the summer of 2017, to having a breakout season and emerging as the team’s top cover corner in a contract year. Then, Fuller followed that by putting together a first-team All-Pro season in the first year after signing a multi-year mega-contract to stay in Chicago. That Fuller is already buying what Pagano is selling to his new defense speaks volumes towards the respect this group has for its new leader.
There is no denying Fangio played an integral role in Fuller’s development into the player he is today, so reading that Pagano already has his ear is quite impressive. But more than that, when a player of Fuller’s caliber says what he says about his new coach, I can’t help but to believe that it suggests the Bears’ defense has been left in good hands.