Chicago Bears: Under-the-radar defensive coordinator candidates

Chicago Bears (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Larry Foote
Chicago Bears (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bears’ under-the-radar defensive coordinator candidates: Larry Foote

It’s tough to say what the top priority for a new defensive coordinator should be, but one of the main priorities is to get the Bears’ front seven playing up to their potential. Chicago has a group of linebackers who, if they played in unison and to the best of their ability, could still be one of the top groups in all of football.

Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith are All Pro type of talents, while Robert Quinn has been that type before. Danny Trevathan is the odd (old) man out but can be disguised well with the other three playing elite football.

What better type of coach to come in and get these guys playing more to their potential than a former linebacker himself? Larry Foote is the current outside linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who boasted a strong group in 2020.

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Tampa Bay led the NFL by a mile in run defense, giving up just 80.6 yards per game. They were also no. 4 in sacks last season with 48.

Foote spent time with the very last team he played for, the Arizona Cardinals, as a linebackers coach following his retirement in 2015. He then joined Bruce Arians’ staff in 2019.

In addition to getting this group of linebackers to play up to snuff, Foote understands what it takes to stop the run. Working under Todd Bowles, he could bring some of what he learned there and transform the Bears into an even better run-stopping unit.