Man, I love hip hop. Not like, I just listen to rap, I subscribe to the culture of hip hop. It’s in how I dress, speak and think.
The first thing I think of with Bears defensive coordinator, is hip hop.
He’s a God MC and there aren’t many better than him in the league.
There’s a reason he’s respected like he is. He’s not Nas or Big, Pac or Jay Z, but he’s definitely like Q-Tip; not highly acknowledged all the time, but really good at what he does.
Take a quick glance at a few articles or hear a few opinions, you’d note quickly how people don’t think Fangio is all that good. But when people look at defense, they take the same approach that some take with defensive ends or outside linebackers; if they don’t have a ton of sacks they are overlooked (see Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd).
Fangio is regarded as “not creative” and “conservative” because he doesn’t blitz a ton and would rather try to hit home with four rushers. Now, while I agree with one of those points (his conservation) I disagree with the lack of creativity.
Fangio is creative in his coverages. Speaking of Floyd, there aren’t many rushers that can cover stride-for-stride like he can. It’s what helps neutralize mobile quarterbacks, even if it doesn’t count as a sack. Putting Floyd in a spy stops quarterbacks from picking up chunk yards with their legs. Other times, Fangio drops linemen into coverage and sends nickel cornerbacks in on blitzes.
Does he have his conservative ways? Yes. But rest assured, it’s tough to answer how much of it is by choice.
The bulk of the Bears’ injuries over the past few seasons have come on defense. Yet, somehow Fangio made lemonade out of a few lemons and some peaches.
He’s worked around suspensions, mediocre free agents, injuries and older guys at key positions. Would Fangio improve with better, more consistent talent? Absolutely.
So I asked myself …
What could Fangio do in Chicago to resemble his days in San Francisco?
I glanced through his past rosters and quickly noticed, his front seven was stacked with power on the line and a blend of smart, strong and finesse players at linebacker. In San Francisco, Fangio had Justin Smith, Ricky Jean Francois, Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald on the line, and Ahmad Brooks, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith at the linebacker spots.
His secondary was pretty good as well. In fact, one year it led the NFL in turnovers.
The Bears can get there with a strong offseason, but it starts with acquiring talent. Do you want to know one way Bears can help their young quarterback out? The defense forcing turnovers, three-and-outs, and putting the ball back in his hands.
So while I totally understand the mini-panic about Chicago needing to go heavy on offense from a personnel standpoint, finishing the defensive project up helps a ton too (see the Jacksonville Jaguars). Plus, I believe you have to reward Fangio with a high-value stud as a “thank you” for staying put when he could’ve gone anywhere.
As I see it, the Bears need another defensive end opposite of Hicks, another pass rusher opposite of Floyd, and at least one other cornerback. That number could increase if the reports are true that Bears are going to let Kyle Fuller walk (I doubt it) and they could also look to upgrade at the inside linebacker spot next to Danny Trevathan.
Then, Fangio’s beat is complete.
The only thing he has to do is deliver the verse and record it over a fire track. ?
Look, Fangio isn’t the greatest in the league, but let’s not act like he’s so tremendously far from it. You may have four or five defensive coordinators in front of him. His coverage packages are unique, disguising blitzers and droppers. Showing certain spots within his defense are open and then they disappear as soon as the snap starts.
He accomplishes this by having good, long, press man corners so he can blend man coverage and zone coverage concepts in the same play. Not to mention those masterfully executed zone blitz schemes. Again, Fangio is far from “not creative.” It just may not be the popular kind of creative that we as a hard-hitting, aggressive-loving fan-base are used to or prefer.
Q-Tip, is a legend. Quick with his schemes and punchlines, he flows consistently and creatively in his own right. He’s an excellent freestyler and captivates listeners with how smooth his delivery is.
I’m not saying Fangio is a legend, but it’s undeniable that he’s respected like one. Bucky Brooks of NFL.com said that he was the second-best defensive coordinator in the league prior to coming to the Bears. The Bears finished top-10 in total defense this past season with deficiencies across the board. The only thing missing from his defense is a few more premier pieces.
As a matter of fact, just some above average guys and this defense could make it a top-five unit. Let’s hope the Bears give them to him.
Fangio has the bars, they’re in his head. But most people don’t listen to rap bars with no beats.
Feed Fangio and be impressed.