Just a few days after the Bears’ heartbreaking playoff loss to the Eagles, they must begin a search for a new defensive coordinator.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, former Bears DC Vic Fangio is set to become the next head coach of the Denver Broncos. He edged out Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak, the other reported finalist for the job.
Under Fangio, the 2018 Bears produced the best defense in the NFL. They finished first in points allowed, rushing yards allowed, rushing touchdowns allowed, passer rating allowed, and takeaways, leading Chicago to their first division title since 2010.
Fangio obviously leaves behind a wildly attractive job for a defensive-minded coach. The Bears feature two first-team all-pros in the secondary, not to mention Khalil Mack. Denver, however, isn’t exactly a team that is starved for defensive talent. Most notably, they feature second-year star Bradley Chubb and seven-time pro bowler Von Miller at the two edge rusher spots, which will get any prospective coach salivating in a hurry.
At quarterback, Fangio will inherit more questions than answers. The incumbent is Case Keenum, a career journeyman who caught fire in Minnesota in 2017 but regressed to the mean with the Broncos. Denver has the tenth overall pick in April’s draft and will surely be considering using it on a signal caller.
The Bears will have their options to replace Fangio, as any unemployed defensive coach will want to work with the incredible talent on the roster. In-house options such as Jay Rodgers (DL), Brandon Staley (OLBs), and longtime Fangio protege Ed Donatell (DBs) could be considered, as could recently fired coaches like Vance Joseph, who Fangio replaced in Denver.
A popular option before Tuesday was former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, but he’s rumored to be joining his old boss (Bruce Arians) in Tampa Bay. However, it’s worth noting that the deal is not official yet, so it’s still a possibility for Bowles to be Fangio’s replacement.
Fangio, 60, came to Chicago with John Fox in 2015 and played an integral role in rebuilding the defense after the atrocities of 2013 and ‘14. He is credited for reviving Kyle Fuller’s career and helping develop young players like Eddie Goldman, Eddie Jackson, Bryce Callahan, Leonard Floyd, and Roquan Smith into anywhere from solid starters to superstars.
He will be tough to replace, but Chicago will never forget what Vic Fangio did for the Bears. He will go down as the man who brought the Monsters of the Midway back, and The Loop Sports wishes him the best in Denver.
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