The Chicago Bears will be looking for a new Defense Coordinator this season as Chuck Pagano has decided to retire. It appears that head coach Matt Nagy will be in charge of the research, as reports indicate that Nagy and General Manager Ryan Pace will be retained in 2021.
The bears will likely look inside when promoting a defensive coordinator, especially given the uncertainty in Pace and Nagy post-2021 season. Not exactly a lot of security for any strangers.
Here are four candidates who could serve as Chicago’s next defense coordinator, including three in-house coaches.
1 Jay Rodgers
Kim Clement USA Sports Day
When looking at young defensive coaches on their rise, the Bears need to start with defensive line coach Jay Rodgers. Rodgers has been on the cast since John Foxx, and it is easy to see why the defensive line was one of the best units during that time.
Rodgers served as assistant / defensive coach with the Broncos from 2009-2014 before joining Fox in Chicago, where he held the position of defense coach for the Bears’ team.
While Rodgers doesn’t have the experience of a defensive coordinator like the others on this list, everyone needs to start somewhere. Just look at Brandon Staley, the former Bears coach outside of midfield who later became Ramez’s defense coordinator. Chicago should consider Rodgers for the job.
2 Ted Monachino
Isaiah J. Downing-USA Sports Today
Another internal candidate to replace Pagano as defensive coordinator is outside back coach Ted Monachino. Monachino also worked as a senior defense assistant with the Bears, which Sportsman He notes that “he had a slightly more role in defense than merely working with edge strikers.”
Monachino previously worked as a Defense Coordinator with the Colts Team from 2016-2017, when Pagano served as head coach for Indianapolis. Monachino also served as a defensive line coach for Jaguar from 2006-2009 and then as coach of the Ravens off-back from 2010-15 with Pagano.
3 Shawn Desai
Another under the radar alternative to Pagano is safety instructor Shawn Desai. Just so you know how high the bears are to him, they have forbidden Vic Fangio from taking Desai to Denver, according to Brad Biggs. Desai is familiar with the scheme and this list of players, and like Rodgers, he could be a rookie defensive coordinator.
Desai has been with Bears since joining NFL, serving as a Quality Control Assistant from 2013 to 18. Desai was promoted to Safety Coach in 2019.
4 James Beecher
While it only makes sense to promote from within given the uncertain situations of Pace and Nagy after 2021, one outside candidate to watch is former Giants and Cardinals defense coordinator James Beecher. According to The Athletic, Bears had an interest in Bettcher back in 2018, before Nagy decided to keep Vic Fangio on the cast.
Beecher was not a coach in 2020, last time as Defensive Coordinator for the Giants from 2018-19. Prior to that, he worked in the same role with the Cardinal from 2014-2017, leading Arizona to the first six defenses during that period. Bettcher would definitely have the talent on the list to work with her in Chicago.
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