Illinois has produced many outstanding and game-changing athletes, but our Mark Potash hashed out his legendary top 10 list.
He is the first defensive coordinator to be retained by a new Bears coach since Buddy Ryan was inherited by Mike Ditka — at George Halas’ behest.
But with or without Fangio, Nagy’s early work in building a coaching staff has been impressive, on paper.
Getting more from players currently on the roster will be a big key to Nagy’s success. Among Trubisky’s supporting cast, Shaheen might be Exhibit A.
How does Pace know Nagy’s success as a quarterbacks coach and non play-calling coordinator indicates he can become a successful head coach in the NFL?
“For me, that was a failure in my book. But I’ll grow from it and I’ll learn from it. I promise you that.”
Sources indicate the Bears want him back, but it’s up to Nagy to close the deal.
So if Nagy’s hiring came with a Reid endorsement … it’s likely more than a head coach telling a young general manager what he wants to hear.
With what is likely a make-or-break hire, Bears general manager Ryan Pace could use a coach who already has made his head-coaching mistakes.
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But they’re hiring a head coach, and the trick is finding a guy who will make an impact on all three phases of the team.
Pace sees “a young core” with room for growth. Others see a roster that has not produced a player voted to the Pro Bowl in the last three seasons.
The Bears finished the season with 16 players on injured reserve … after finishing the 2016 season with 19 players on injured reserve.
This is his chance — his first one and very likely his last one — to re-create the Sean Payton-Drew Brees model he seeks.