Does Khalil Mack Incentivize Vic Fangio to Stay With Chicago Bears?
With the Chicago Bears’ defense garnering national acclaim, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is being regarded as a potential head coach candidate in 2019.
Prior to the league-shifting transaction that sent All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack to his new home in the Windy City, the Chicago Bears were going into the 2018 season with a lot of promise; especially on the defensive end.
Much of the improved success of the Bears’ defense has to be attributed to the tenured defensive guru, Vic Fangio. After taking a Bears’ unit that ranked in the bottom third in defense in 2015, Fangio has organized and groomed this defense to be a top-10 unit last season, and arguably the best defense in football this year.
It is clear that Vic has a deep connection with this group which is part of the reason first-year coach Matt Nagy was able to convince Fangio to sign an extension with the Bears. In the interview immediately following his decision to stay with the team, Fangio spoke highly about several of his players both veterans and rookies, and accredited them as to why he chose to remain a defensive coordinator.
Now, you add a superstar talent, who has no ego, is a great locker room presence and a persistent leader to Fangio’s lauded group. Fangio has gone on record multiple times praising players such as Akiem Hicks and November’s Defensive Player of the Month, Eddie Jackson, for their work ethic.
Fangio was also clearly happy after the Bears drafted Roquan Smith in this years’ draft. Khalil Mack only reinforces all those traits that Fangio appreciates, and I’m uncertain if Fangio leaves with the group playing the way it is.
Now many of you might be asking how can Vic Fangio leave if he’s only in the first year of his new extension? As Bears’ senior writer Larry Meyer explained, a team must allow an individual to interview for a position if it’s a vertical move. This means of course that Fangio would be allowed to interview for a head coaching job this offseason.
Just because a head coaching job is open and that teams have interest in Fangio, doesn’t mean that he leaves. For starters, he has a really good thing going here in Chicago. He really likes the players under his tutelage, obviously likes the new head coach and the offense he’s instilled, and has a chance to contend in the NFC for the forseeable future.
If, say, the Cleveland Browns or Tampa Bay Buccaneers had interest, it wouldn’t necessarily be beneficial for Fangio to uproot what he has done in Chicago in hopes that he could recreate the success he has had here.
It’s not just Khalil Mack that would incentivize Vic Fangio to stay. He, much like Bears’ fans across the nation, likes how almost every facet of this 2018 team is performing. Hopefully Mack is the nail in the coffin that solidifies Fangio as our defensive leader for years to come.