The Chicago Bears have a big decision to make as they work to replace defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Fangio, who has reportedly accepted the job as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, led the Bears to a remarkable run of success over the past four seasons, and it culminated in the 2018 campaign, during which the Bears checked in as one of the league’s most successful defenses.
Now, with Fangio reportedly gone and with Matt Nagy tasked with making a major hire on the defensive side of the ball, the question is now emerging: who will replace the decorated coordinator?
Here is a list of candidates that could be considered for the job:
Ed Donatell, Bears Defensive Backs Coach
There is a possibility that Donatell could follow Fangio to the Broncos to serve as his defensive coordinator, but if the Bears opt for continuity on their defense, then he could be an ideal candidate for a promotion.
Vance Joseph, former Broncos Head Coach
Joseph, recently fired by the Broncos, is a candidate for a head coaching job with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he’s also interviewing for defensive coordinator positions, including with Kliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals this week.
Chuck Pagano, former Colts Head Coach
Pagano has drawn a lot of interest around the NFL as he looks to get back into the coaching ranks, with the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, and Cardinals all reportedly interested in his services. He seems to be a candidate who could be looking to bolster his reputation and parlay an opportunity into another head coaching gig, and with the Bears’ ready-made defense, the fit could be right.
Kris Richard, Cowboys Defensive Backs Coach
Getting the Cowboys to agree to let him leave for the promotion would be tricky, and Richard is also generating interest from the Miami Dolphins, who could hire him to replace Adam Gase as their head coach.
Jay Rodgers, Bears Defensive Line Coach
Another possibility for the Bears could be to promote Rodgers, who has worked wonders with the team’s defensive line, as evidenced by the success experienced by Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman, among others.
Gregg Williams, former Browns Defensive Coordinator
One of the most bombastic and outspoken coaches in the league, Williams would be an out-of-the-box hire if Nagy wants to in that direction, but other teams, including the New York Jets, have expressed interest in his services.