The Chicago Bears wasted little time choosing former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano to replace the departed Vic Fangio. The Chicago Tribune reported the Bears were “keenly interested” in the 58-year-old Pagano prior to the hire. Ryan Pace once again showed his conviction and made his play for the former head coach. Pagano was cultivated throughout the college and professional ranks but most importantly within the Baltimore Organization. He brings a wealth of experience to the Bears locker room and sideline. Chicago fans should be excited.
We have hired Chuck Pagano as our defensive coordinator.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 12, 2019
“We are excited to add Chuck to our staff as a Defensive Coordinator. He has successful experience at many different levels in this league and he is a great teacher with an aggressive mentality that fits our style of football,” Matt Nagy told ChicagoBears.com. “He is a man of high character and has a passion for the game that will no doubt add to the culture we have already started at Halas Hall.”
The similarities to Fangio begin with age (60 compared to 58) and end with a 1984 start of their coaching careers. That is a good thing. The Bears are better off cutting ties to Fangio by allowing Pagano to run his defense as he sees fit. Since the hire, Chicago’s front office has released outside linebacker coach Brandon Staley and assistant defensive backs coach Roy Anderson. All indications point to Pace and Nagy giving him full reigns.
The last time the Bears forced a system on an incoming coordinator, we witnessed the Mel Tucker era. He was handcuffed to the personnel and a system due to a veteran locker room. It did not work out. The Bears became the doormat of the NFC North Division under that flawed ideology. It is what led to the Pace era in the first place. If there is one thing we can trust, Pace does his homework. Pagano is the perfect coordinator that will allow Nagy to focus primarily on his budding quarterback and offensive schemes.
The Bears are handing Pagano a defensive unit that is equivalent to a Maserati. A vehicle that is meant to go fast and hug the roadways. He is well versed in the 3-4 base front installed on Day One of the Pace tenure. The best comparison is the 2011 Ravens defense that catapulted his head coaching career. That team carried four Pro Bowl players; Haloti Ngata, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reed. They were top five in all major statistical categories and lost in the AFC Championship game. His players demonstrate the same reverence that Bears showed Fangio.
The Bears had a historic season statistically and the front office is well aware of the heightened expectations. This was a smart hire, one that brings a wealth of NFL relationships with it. There is only one end game in sight and Nagy laid the foundation for success. Next season, the Bears have to be thinking Super Bowl. Especially after watching this Divisional Round of playoffs.
The End of the Year Press Conference is scheduled for today at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Until then stay thirsty and BEAR DOWN! JT out.