The Chicago Bears followed up a good hire with another good hire. After announcing John Fox as their new Head Coach last week, it was time for Fox to start filling out his staff. Today, the Bears have added Vic Fangio to their staff as the new defensive coordinator. It was between Chicago and Washington, both of which don’t exactly boast loads of talent on that side of the ball.
Vic Fangio has decided to join John Fox’s staff in Chicago. Skins were very interested. Fangio made his decision today
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 20, 2015
Fangio was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers the last four years, that unit was nothing short of stellar. His best job in that stretch may have been last season when the 49ers were ravaged by injuries on that side of the ball. Missing Aldon Smith, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Tramaine Brock, Glen Dorsey, Ian Williams and a few others for most of the season. That didn’t stop that unit from leading the league in interceptions or finishing in the top 10 defensively, there were times when free agents picked up a week before a game were starting and others where rookies and second year players were not asked to just step up and contribute, but step up and start.
One of the reasons that defense was able to thrive was the game planning and play calling of Fangio, the other was the teaching, the preparation. No matter who was on the field, they had a job to do and performed. Last year’s experience stands out because Fangio will be taking over a Bears unit that was atrocious at best. There are a few pieces, but Chicago will be spending energy and resources on that side of the ball. The biggest resource may be time, that defensive staff will have to teach and coach up those young players. It’s also expected that Fangio will be joined by his former secondary coach in San Francisco as well, per Ian Rapoport:
Chicago’s new head coach has a defensive background as well, Fox has built some pretty decent defensive lines in past stops. The Bears will have a wealth of knowledge and experience on that side of the ball in terms of coaching, it also means that it’ll be hard to see what the Bears will be running until maybe Free Agency or the draft. Fox is a 4-3 guy and Fangio is a 3-4 guy, no matter what they run, they should be able to turn that horrendous Bears defense around in the next few seasons.
Look at where the Bears were ranked in terms of points given up over the last three years compared to the teams of their last two hires:
Points allowed over the last 3 years. Can you spot the outlier? pic.twitter.com/RaPGqu1pCg
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) January 20, 2015
While Bears fans shouldn’t expect a top 10 defensive unit in year one, they should expect to see a much more disciplined unit that doesn’t give up huge chunks of yardage. Which is a big step considering what that unit did last year. In short, the Bears made two great hires recently, what appear to be upgrades of both positions versus last season.