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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 13, 2018 1:00 am


Bears defensive coordinator Fangio to stay with team

News services

As much as the Bears sought a fresh voice and new approach for the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky, they were pretty happy with how the defense has come along.

They have to feel like they might have the best for both sides of the ball now after defensive coordinator Vic Fangio agreed to return Friday, four days after the Bears hired Matt Nagy as head coach.

The Bears couldn't know exactly how Fangio would react when he was informed Monday morning the team had selected someone else as the next head coach. General manager Ryan Pace gave Fangio the first interview for the position last week, and there was at least some concern that Fangio, who became a free agent Tuesday, would seek work elsewhere.

Fangio returned from the West Coast early Wednesday and was in discussions with the team that day. An agreement was reached Friday, giving the Bears a full set of coordinators after Nagy previously hired Mark Helfrich for offense and Chris Tabor for special teams.

The defense finished this season ranked seventh against the pass, ninth in points allowed, 10th in total defense, 11th against the run and tied for 13th with 22 takeaways.

The Bears also brought in Charles London to coach running backs and Mike Furrey as wide receivers coach.

Coaching carousel

Cleveland hired former New York Giants wide receivers coach Adam Henry for the same role and former Cincinnati offensive coordinator Ken Zampese will coach the Browns quarterbacks. The Browns parted with quarterbacks coach David Lee, running backs coach Kirby Wilson and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, who left to join Chicago's staff. ...

Buffalo fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison after finishing 29th in offense. ...

Carolina hired Norv Turner as its offensive coordinator. Turner, 65, replaces Mike Shula, who was fired this week after seven seasons with Carolina, including five as offensive coordinator.

Extra points

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer says he hasn't made a decision regarding the status of quarterback Sam Bradford, who has practiced the last two weeks in an attempt to be activated from the injured reserve list. ...

New Orleans receiver Brandon Coleman (neck) has been declared out of Sunday's divisional-round playoff game in Minnesota. ... Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown was sent home from practice after becoming ill Friday.