Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy knows change is never easy. However, going from Vic Fangio to new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano, he says he likes how his guys have adapted so far.
“You’ve got to be able to adapt now and understand not everything’s going to be exactly the same,” Nagy said. “Give it time. Test it out. Is this thing going to happen over night? Absolutely not. [Pagano] knew that coming in here. We have one of the best defenses in the NFL and he knows what kind of challenge that is because there’s expectations – not just from the media and from the fan base, but from his own players.”
Wednesday was only the guys’ second time going through installs. Pagano’s throwing a lot at his guys on purpose to see what sticks. So far, he likes what he sees.
“[They have] high football character,” Pagano said. “[Their] football IQ is off the charts. Obviously the talent is there.”
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it – that’s pretty much been Pagano’s mindset when it comes to figuring out a system with these guys. He’s using a lot of what they already know and just adding bits and pieces of his own style.
“Again, it would be foolish not to have – on my part – not to have some carry over considering what they’ve done,” Pagano said. “Vic and I were together at one point in Baltimore, so there’s some common threads that run through both systems.”
Whether or not Pagano will eventually put his own stamp on the Bears defensive style, he said “time will only tell.”
More than anything, Pagano says he’s glad the Bears gave him another chance to coach. A year-long gap after the Indianapolis Colts let him go was long enough to be away from the game.
“You ask any player that’s been let go and been put on the street and then given another opportunity and have another team, another locker room, coaches to be around, players to be around, come out here and run like a kid again, there’s nothing better,” Pagano admitted.