Chuck Pagano says ‘no doubt’ he has to prove himself with the Bears
Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has big shoes to fill. Last year, Chicago had by far the best defense in the league. The unit was so good in fact that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio landed a head coaching job with the Broncos.
That created the vacancy that Pagano was ultimately tapped to fill. Expectations are high for the Bears’ defense in 2019, and Pagano understands that. When asked recently if he has to prove himself to his new players, Pagano responded affirmatively, per John Mullin of NBC Sports.
“No doubt about it. There’s going to be high expectations for anybody coming into this. But absolutely. And I have great respect for coach Fangio. I’ve known Vic for a long time and he’s done a phenomenal job for a long time, calling defenses, building this defense, working with coach Nagy,” Pagano said.
Pagano is a grizzled veteran of the coaching game, so it’s not anything unordinary for him.
“But anytime you come in, you’ve got to look at, ‘Here’s what the expectations are and I’ve gotta prove myself.’ I think it’s a challenge we all face and address and embrace. It’s not the thing that keeps you up at night, but I understand what the expectations are,” he explained.
The Bears have a lot of elite talent and one of the game’s best defensive players in Khalil Mack, but they also did lose some pieces this offseason. Starting safety Adrian Amos and starting cornerback Bryce Callahan both left in free agency, so the group Pagano is inheriting will look a little different.
“We’ve got a bunch of really good football players and assistant coaches, and if we keep working like we’ve been working, get lucky and stay healthy, things’ll work out,” he said.