The Bears agreed to bring back defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on Friday, according to Brad Biggs. The signing comes just four days after the Bears announced the hiring of new head coach Matt Nagy.
Nagy has been busy all week adding to his staff, signing former Notre Dame offensive line Coach Harry Hiestand on Wednesday, and bringing on former Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich as his offensive coordinator on Thursday.
The retention of Fangio may be the biggest move of all for Nagy. Under Fangio, the Bears have seen a resurgence from their defense. Prior to Fangio taking over prior to the 2015 season, the Bears defense ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category.
Since taking over, Fangio has overseen a massive overhaul that has resulted in the defense rounding into a top 10 unit in 2017, despite the team’s 5-11 record.
The Bears have also experienced an influx of talent on the defensive side of the ball with young players such as Leanord Floyd, Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson, and Kyle Fuller, as well as veterans Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan all having big seasons in 2017.
The deal is reported to be for three years, which will give Fangio time to continue to watch his defense grow as Nagy focuses on the offense. There were reports earlier in the week that Fangio would follow Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to any job he may be hired to, but the Bears were reportedly always optimistic a deal would get done.
Fangio also interviewed for the Bears head coaching job. The Bears also denied interview requests for Fangio from the Packers and Bengals. Fangio staying with the Bears will ease Nagy’s transition into the head coaching job and will ease concerns of a regression from the Bears defense as offensive minded Nagy takes over.
With Fangio staying on, it is safe to assume the Bears will retain multiple position coaches on that side of the ball. Fangio’s signing is also something to keep an eye on as it pertains to contract negotiations with cornerback Kyle Fuller, who experienced a breakout campaign in 2017, after missing all of the 2016 season.