Vic Fangio to get head-coaching consideration as Bears defense continues to shine
Fangio has long been considered one of the premier defensive minds in the game
The Bears' turnaround season and surge to the top of the NFC North has drawn the attention of NFL decision-makers, and longtime defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is being mentioned in other front offices as a potential head-coaching candidate, league sources said.
There have been some biases against defensive coaches over the years, especially older defensive coaches, but Fangio has long been considered one of the premier defensive minds in the game and he is expected to garner legitimate head-coaching interest in 2019. Fangio has interviewed previously for the head-coaching jobs in Chicago and San Francisco, and the Bears paid handsomely to retain him as defensive coordinator a year ago when they brought in Matt Nagy as head coach.
Fangio, 60, has a strong reputation for being able to connect with troubled players and utilize his scheme to get more out of his roster than most in the game. As the Bears have continued to be an elite defense with him at the helm, and particularly with the club's rise in the standings this season, Fangio is being viewed in other front offices as someone they want to talk to. Several sources who expect to be conducting head-coaching searches told me Fangio is on their initial list of candidates and, while ultimately those teams are likely leaning toward an offensive-minded head coach, these executives believe Fangio may have an opportunity to land a job in a landscape where around a quarter of the jobs in the NFL could open.
One NFL decision-maker likened Fangio's situation to that of another grizzled defensive coach, Mike Zimmer, who went through a long saga of interviews and being seen as a coordinator and not a head coach before the Vikings finally hired him. Fangio has coached in the NFL since 1986, with quality results throughout. Zimmer was 57 before he finally got an opportunity to become a head coach for the first time, in a move that has been lauded since.
"He should have an opportunity to get in front of a few teams this time around," the executive said. "He's someone we would want to talk to."
The Bears visit the Giants in Week 13, 1 p.m. ET, Fox, stream on fuboTV (try for free).
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