Who Should the Chicago Bears Sign to Replace Vic Fangio as Defensive Coordinator?
The Chicago Bears will be looking for a new defensive coordinator as Vic Fangio was hired as the Denver Broncos new head coach on Wednesday.
Fangio’s was the Bears defensive coordinator from 2015 and was partially responsible for the team’s turnaround from worst to first this season. With the opening, the Bears will now have to find a new coordinator to oversee one of the NFL’s best defenses.
Here are some candidates to who could be the Bears new defensive coordinator in 2019:
Todd Bowles was relieved of his duties as head coach for the New York Jets last week following a four-year stint. Although the Jets never made the playoffs in his four seasons, Bowles is seen as one of the best defensive minds in the NFL.
Before being hired by the Jets in 2015, he served as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals under Bruce Arians. In his two years as coordinator, the Cardinals defense ranked seventh and fifth in total defense and made it to the playoffs in 2014.
Bowles has experience in a 3-4 defensive scheme and wouldn't force a drastic change in the Bears defensive scheme.
The team’s current secondary’s coach could be a smart replacement as he has worked with Fangio since 2011 in San Francisco and has been the Bears’ secondary’s coach since 2015.
A transition to Donatell would be seamless as very little would have to change for the Bears defense. He has nearly 30 years of NFL coaching experience dating back to 1990. Donatell also has coordinator experience as he was the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator for the 2002 and 2003 season. The Packers averaged 38.5 sacks and 23 interceptions in those two seasons.
Teryl Austin is another coach that has had extended experience as a defensive coordinator in the league. He has served as a coordinator for the past five seasons with the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals. Austin employees a 3-4 base scheme similar to the one used by the Bears.
In his four seasons with the Lions, Detroit made it to the playoffs in 2014 and 2016. In the 2014 season, The Lions defense was the third best in the NFL as the team lost just five games.
The Cincinnati Bengals parted ways with head coach Marvin Lewis this season following a 15 tenure. Lewis is one of the league’s best defensive minds as he oversaw one of the league’s best defenses in history in the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.
He was the Ravens defensive coordinator from 1996 to 2001 and would have a similar talented personnel group with the Bears as he had with the Ravens.
During his 15 seasons as Bengals head coach, the team made the playoffs seven times including five consecutive years from 2011 to 2015. Throughout those seven playoffs runs, the Bengals defense was one of the attributing factors as to why.
Jack Del Rio
Similar to Lewis, Del Rio has had extended experience as both a head coach and as a defensive coordinator.
Recently, Del Rio was responsible for leading the Oakland Raiders back to the playoffs in 2016. His defense in Oakland was predicated on sacking the quarterback and forcing turnovers. The Raider defense was led by All-Pro and current Bears linebacker Khalil Mack. Del Rio served as the defensive coordinator for the 2015 Denver Broncos who won the Super Bowl that season.
He had another pass rushing linebacker who led his defense which was Von Miller. One quality that Del Rio possesses is that he has experience and flexibility running both a 4-3 and 3-4 defensive scheme.
Williams might be one of the league’s best all-around coaches as he has worked as both a coordinator and head coach dating back to 2002. Williams was the interim head coach for the Cleveland Browns who had their best season since 2007.
Cleveland’s defense ranked second in turnovers with 31 and registered 38 sacks. He also is a Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator as he was in charge of the Saints defense in 2009 when they beat the Colts in Super Bowl 44.
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