Matt Nagy spent his first day as Bears coach recruiting Vic Fangio to remain as defensive coordinator. The day Fangio became a free agent, though, Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace only could offer hope.
“You know that I have a ton of respect for Vic, and we’re talking to Vic right now,” Pace said Tuesday. “We thought, ‘Let this play out.’ ’’
That strategy appears to be working. Fangio’s chances of returning improved late Tuesday with the Packers reportedly expected to hire Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator and the Chargers retaining coordinator Gus Bradley.
Nagy, who will oversee the offense, said that figuring out the defensive-coordinator job is critical.
Fangio was one of six candidates the Bears interviewed during their head-coaching search, which ended Monday when they chose the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator.
“We all are aware of that situation, and that’s a very important hire for me, but there’s a lot of things that go into that decision,” Nagy said. “Vic and I have talked. We understand the situation, but that’s something we’re gonna attack here. . . . We’re gonna attack that full steam ahead, and we’re gonna make a clear decision about what’s best for Vic and what’s best for this organization.”
Nagy wouldn’t specify a preference between the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, saying that 60 percent of the defense in the NFL is played in nickel or dime packages anyway.
“You want to be careful not to put too much emphasis on that,” Nagy said. “I do understand that’s something with guys you draft and different positions. But we’ll evaluate that.”
At least one coach won’t be following Nagy: Eric Bieniemy was promoted to take Nagy’s place as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator.
Asked if he planned to keep quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, with whom he shares an agent, or any other Bears assistant, Nagy said he wasn’t “at that point yet.”
Fangio’s decision could swing the whole thing — it’s telling that, while three offensive coaches took new jobs last week, the Bears’ defensive coaches appear to be in a holding pattern.
Asked if he would emphasize experience with his deputies, given that he’s only 39, Nagy said he wants a diverse staff.
“What you don’t want is a staff full of the same people,” he said. “You want to have people that teach in different ways. . . . There might be some yellers and screamers, and there might be some guys that teach in a nicer way, I’ll say it that way. . . .
“So having a staff full of quality people that have high character and yet are great coaches, let’s fill a whole staff with that.”
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