Take 2: Will Vic Fangio finally earn opportunity as a head coach this offseason?
Pro Football Weekly GM Hub Arkush and senior Bears reporter Bob LeGere debate whether this is the year Vic Fangio gets a shot somewhere as head coach:
ARKUSH: Bob, I think we are all loathe to even think about anything but the Philadelphia Eagles right now with the Bears first foray into playoff football in eight years just three days away. But there is a dark cloud covering Bears Nation’s euphoria over their suddenly contending football team. What if Vic Fangio, the man more responsible than anyone but Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy for the Bears’ sudden prominence, leaves to take a head coaching job following the season? The mere possibility of such a loss leaves Bears believers trembling, and there are several tentacles to the dilemma. The first is, while we know he will get opportunities to interview -- the Broncos and Dolphins have already requested the Bears’ permission to speak to Fangio -- what are the odds he will actually be offered and/or accept a head-coaching job?
LEGERE: Hub, my first inclination is that Fangio would bristle at John Elway’s omnipresent management style, which is beyond hands-on. It’s been my observation that Fangio has little patience for playing office politics or any of the other games that often come with executive positions. In Miami, he would be saddled with a broken-down defense in need of rebuilding. It’s not that Fangio wouldn’t enjoy the challenge, but he’s clearly proud of what he’s built in Chicago and I’m guessing would love to see it through. I think he’d be reluctant to abandon the project when there is strong belief that this defense is just beginning to tap into its potential. Almost all the key players are locked up for another two years at least, and it’s still a fairly young group. It could be dominant for several more years – if Fangio stays. On the flip side, the trend seems to be toward hiring younger coaches, and Fangio is 60.
ARKUSH: Bob, there is no question in my mind that Miami is the least attractive of the eight jobs currently open because of the organization. Although Miller, Chubb, Roby and Harris, Jr. are some interesting pieces to start with on defense in Denver, the offense and QB situation are a mess and, as you say, Elway ... However, I expect there will be other interviews requested, and I guess my focus is, like yours, more on how bad does Vic want it, and will he be as desirable once he interviews? Beyond the fact 60-year-old rookie head coaches are extremely rare, it’s hard to understand why Fangio hasn’t had more interviews already in prior years. I love the guy’s demeanor and ability and would hire him in a minute, but my guess is his gruff demeanor and unwillingness to kiss any butts, let alone the egos he’ll be interviewing with, could keep him from actually being offered a job at all.
LEGERE: And that would be fine with me, Hub, because selfishly, I enjoy watching Fangio’s defense play every week. It’s possible Fangio is perfectly content to continue coordinating one of the league’s best defenses and avoid the headaches and game-playing that come with being the main man. He doesn’t seem to be a person who needs the ego gratification that some seek, and I find it hard to imagine him as a self-promoter because he doesn’t need to be. His resume speaks for itself, but that might not be enough in such a competitive situation. While his bluntness and propensity to tell it like it is without any sugarcoating appeal to us in the media, I’m sure that isn’t the type of personality that endears him to many of the high-ego people with whom he will interview. Fangio is clearly not for everyone, but that’s great for the Bears.