Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions. this one was about why Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio didn’t get an interview for a head coaching position:
“Fangio is 57 but we have seen older coaches get their first crack at a head job recently with Bruce Arians enjoying tremendous success in Arizona. Fangio isn’t a very political guy and I say that not as a positive or a negative but simply as an observation that you get. Every head coach that was hired this offseason was from an offensive background.”
The comparison to Arians might be a good one here in more ways than age. Arians, like Fangio, “isn’t a very political guy”. From the quotes that I have read, he’s a straight shooting guy who will walk in to a room and firmly tell you what he thinks.
That sounds like a good thing in theory and that’s what everyone says that they want to hear. But the reality is something different. Some of the smartest people I know are like this and I’ve found over time that it’s a mistake not to listen to them. But I’ve also noticed that they rarely get asked to work with people in teams on administrative tasks. The truth is that straight shooters often tell it like it is with little tact and sometimes they are so firm that it comes across as an attack. That’s not good and they often impress as uncompromising to administrative types in any business, not just football. You need a guy who can get his point across while still leaving the people around the table certain that he’ll play nicely if things don’t go his way.
If I were to guess as to why Arians didn’t get the job in Chicago when he interviewed in 2013, I’d say that he scared some people off with his forthright attitude, particularly then general manager Phil Emery, who had been dealing with a very stubborn and opinionated Lovie Smith. That was the Bears loss. But it is also understandable.
I’m making some assumptions here but if Fangio is to get his chance at a head coaching job, he’s probably going to have to make sure that everyone he meets knows that he’s a team player no matter what the circumstances. Expressing an opinion is a tone that is calm and reasoned with less emotional baggage usually helps. In fact, it’s usually essential. Otherwise, Bears fans will be happy to have him in Chicago for as long as he wants to be here.