Bernstein: Bears Should Be Fine With New DC

While Vic Fangio is gone, almost all of the terrific defensive personnel returns.

Dan Bernstein
January 09, 2019 - 3:10 pm
Categories: 

(670 The Score) ​​I'll miss Vic Fangio's brusque honesty, his straight answers to fair questions and his unassuming appearance at the lectern, all part of his rumpled and curmudgeonly charm as the Bears' defensive coordinator. I'll miss his deliberate and perceptive game-planning and his presence in the booth on game days, arranging the pieces in his 3-4 defensive scheme.

And as he moves to Denver to take the job as Broncos' head coach, I also believe the Bears can find a person perfectly able to pick right up where he left off.

Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace aren't going to hire someone capable of making all of their rising players bad, to put it bluntly. Even a replacement-level coordinator will have Akiem Hicks throwing guards and centers around like garbage cans, Eddie Jackson tracking passes and receivers, Khalil Mack heat-seeking quarterbacks and pulling runners down in the backfield and Roquan Smith, Leonard Floyd and Danny Trevathan prowling the flat. You can name all the others remaining that I'm not, too.

Depending on who's hired, it might mean more pressure packages that force the cornerbacks into playing on respective islands in man coverage, but so be it. If it's Ed Donatell, the continuity in the building and in the secondary would be valued as he resumes the duties he held for Green Bay, Atlanta and Washington. There's no one right way to do this.

The Bears are smart enough to know that the current material players and developing talent were acquired to fit a philosophy, so I don't expect any radical changes. There will be tinkering around the edges, new preferences and wrinkles and possibly another coach on the sidelines instead of upstairs.

This spectacular first season from Nagy and the recent track record of Pace have earned some trust in this working out, a possibility they could see coming after Fangio had interviewed for top jobs previously and was likely to use a 12-4 season as a springboard. They've been discussing defensive coordinator options for some time.

What's no fun to contemplate, however, is the possibility that one kick just an inch to the right might have meant an impatient John Elway would've gone with the bird in the hand in Mike Munchak instead of waiting another full week for Fangio's season to end, concerned about his coach assembling the best possible staff. So we're not going to think about that.

Better to know that almost all the personnel on a terrific defense isn't going anywhere, and it's very likely that this will end just fine.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​