Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano riffs on Roquan Smith, Bilal Nichols, others

Pagano unleashed some colorful answers when asked about some key players in his defense.

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Chuck Pagano’s defense ranks ninth in fewest points allowed this season.

Chuck Pagano’s defense ranks ninth in fewest points allowed this season.

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Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has some of the more interesting weekly press conferences and often gets poetic and/or colorful when discussing players. Here’s what he said Thursday about some of the Bears:

On the rise of third-year linebacker Roquan Smith, who is third in the NFL with a career-high 122 tackles:

“Like a fine wine, he’s getting better with age. He’s not Opus One yet or anything near that. Maybe a Duckhorn, a Cakebread. He’s moving up the ladder of Northern California/Napa Valley — really nice Cab.”

On the exceptional recent play of defensive lineman Bilal Nichols, who is second on the team with four sacks and has one each of the last two games, along with an interception against the Lions:

“Not real flashy. Not real sexy. Not this, that and the other. I mean, he might tell you he’s sexy, I don’t know. A significant other might tell you that... A couple of his teammates might tell him that... He’s just a grinder. Anything you ask that kid to do, he does it.”

On young cornerbacks Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor, who could be playing in place of Buster Skrine (concussion) and Jaylon Johnson (shoulder) against the Vikings on Sunday:

“Kindle’s a pit bull. Both those guys are. They’re young, hungry, scrappy... If both of them have to play a significant amount of time again, they’ll go out and play really, really hard and they’ll compete.”

Pagano just missed nailing a signature line from the Hamilton musical on that last one.

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