Bears defenders hold out hope 'mastermind' Vic Fangio stays

The defense has been the strength of the Bears in three seasons under coordinator Vic Fangio . Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio seemed to acknowledge last week that he might never land one of the NFL’s coveted head-coaching jobs.

But Fangio is expected to be in high demand as Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens look to replace outgoing defensive coordinators Dom Capers and Dean Pees, respectively. Fangio worked for the Ravens from 2006-08.

Plus, new coaching staffs will be under construction for the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals and possibly other teams before week’s end. Without question, Fangio will have a defensive coordinator job in the NFL next season.

Multiple Bears players expressed hope on Monday that management will try to persuade Fangio to stay.

"That would be great if that happens," Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman said. "That would be great."

Typically, the new head coach will want to install his own defensive coordinator, but Fangio -- and the rest of the defensive assistants -- did an admirable job rebuilding the defense. Fangio inherited a complete mess in 2015, but over a three-year span, Chicago’s defense was the strength of the team.

The Bears finished the regular season ranked ninth in points allowed (20.0), seventh in passing yards (211.0), 10th in total yards (319.1) and 11th in rushing yards (108.1).

With John Fox out of the picture, perhaps the Bears can convince Fangio to stick around -- at a hefty price -- and sell the idea of continuity to Fox’s eventual replacement. The notion, assuming Fangio agrees to it, isn’t all that absurd given the veteran coordinator’s vast network of contacts from 31 years of coaching in the NFL.

“I think players are a big part of any type of success,” Bears free-agent cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “But coaching is huge. On our side of the ball, with defense, I think Vic is a huge part of why we were pretty good this year on defense. I feel like he’s a mastermind, one of the smartest defensive coordinators, most detailed defensive coordinators I’ve been around. It’s hard to make him smile, but when he smiles, you know it’s a good thing. Guys love him. We respect him. If I was here, I’d hope he stays."