The Chicago Bears cooked up top-10 defenses in each of the last two seasons under Chuck Pagano, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. And while Chicago’s defense is still loaded with stars, the unit saw Pagano ride off into the sunset and into retirement. So for the second time since becoming a head coach, Matt Nagy is looking for a defensive coordinator. Over the following days, we’re taking a closer look at some rumored candidates, their coaching history, what they bring to the table, their general desirability, and more.
Previously: Jay Rodgers
Name, Current Team, Current Position
George Edwards, Dallas Cowboys, Senior Defensive Assistant
• Dallas Cowboys (Senior Defensive Assistant, 2020-present; Linebackers, 1998-2001)
• Minnesota Vikings (Defensive Coordinator, 2014-19)
• Miami Dolphins (Linebackers, 2012-13)
• Buffalo Bills (Defensive Coordinator, 2010-12)
• Miami Dolphins (Linebackers, 2005-09)
• Cleveland Browns (Linebackers, 2004)
• Washington (Defensive Coordinator, 2003; Assistant Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers 2002)
• Georgia (Defensive Line, 1997)
• Duke (Assistant, 1996)
• Appalachian State (Assistant, 1992-95)
• Florida (Assistant, 1991)
Edwards emerged as a candidate on Monday, when it was reported the Bears requested an interview with the Cowboys’ Senior Defensive Assistant. However, connections between Edwards and the Bears date back to 2018. GM Ryan Pace put out a request to interview Edwards for the team’s vacant head-coaching position in 2018. And eventually, Edwards was one of the handful of candidates who interviewed for the position. The job ultimately went to Matt Nagy, but Edwards must’ve made a strong impression to get an interview for the defensive coordinator position.
Because we’re three years into the Matt Nagy experience and still don’t know what his offense is supposed to be good at, the Bears could use a head-coach type running their defense. Let’s face it. Nagy seems to have a grasp on the CEO responsibilities of being a head coach. HOWEVER, he really needs to bear down and get that offense in gear. Previously, I’ve talked about the Bears needing a head coach for the defensive side of the ball. Considering that Edwards has interviewed for head-coaching gigs before, and has experience calling defenses, perhaps this is a match that makes sense.
Edwards has ample coaching experience, took a year off from being a coordinator, and could be inspired by the opportunity to get after his former bosses in Minnesota. It doesn’t seem like that experience ended on great terms:
#Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said George Edwards was in the last year of his contract and "it was a situation where it was probably best'' to move on.
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) January 13, 2020
They Said It …
“Good pass rush and good coverage go hand in hand. if we can make the quarterback uncomfortable, that’s a win for us.” – George Edwards, who clearly understands the relationship between pass-rush effecting coverage schemes and what quarterbacks can (and can’t) do.