The names keep rolling in for Bears defensive coordinator candidates.
Sean Desai and Jay Rodgers have emerged as internal candidates among the early favorites. Meanwhile, the team has also requested interviews with Cowboys Senior Defensive Assistant George Edwards and Colts Defensive Backs Coach Jonathan Gannon. But wait … there’s more.
A relative newcomer has entered the arena:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2021
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports Chicago interviewed James Bettcher for the defensive coordinator opening on Monday. I make reference to Bettcher as a “relative newcomer” because his name was tossed around as a possible replacement for Vic Fangio had he left when his contract expired in 2018. Fangio stuck around for another year, while Bettcher signed on with the New York Giants in 2018 and 2019. Now, Bettcher returns to our watchlist three years later. Funny how things come around full circle sometimes.
Bettcher didn’t coach anywhere in 2020 — and that’s probably a good thing. In 2019, Bettcher’s defense ranked 30th in points, 25th in yards, and 28th in takeaways. To be fair, that Giants group didn’t have much talent on it. So it wouldn’t be right to judge Bettcher solely on what happened in his most recent stint. It’s worth noting that Bettcher spent his year off re-evaluating his scheme and reaching out to coaches he was familiar with, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Among the coaches named in Raanan’s report is Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy. How’s that for convenience?
Perhaps Bettcher learned a thing or two in his year away from the game. Sometimes, it’s good to clear your head, get a big-picture look, then come back with vigor at a new gig. Perhaps that’s what the Bears are looking for in a defensive coordinator candidate.
We’ll further explore Bettcher’s candidacy later.