Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times addresses the changes in the 2021 Bears coaching staff:
When [head coach Matt] Nagy had to hire Fangio’s replacement, he took two days.
When he hired [Chuck] Pagano’s replacement, he took 10.
With a more deliberate tack — and leaning on experience from two years ago — Nagy interviewed nine candidates.
“That was different than the first time,” he said. “And then there were a lot of great ones.”
Nagy picked [defensive coordinator Sean] Desai because he admired his conviction and confidence. Desai is the rare NFL coach who didn’t play college football, but players still have an “unbelievable connection” with him, Nagy said.
A couple thoughts here.
First, the fact that Nagy felt that he had to interview 9 candidates is not exactly a vote of confidence in Desai. You certainly want to do due diligence but 9?
Nagy is, for all practical purposes, a lame duck head coach. You have to wonder how many of those candidates turned him down before he settled for Desai.
In fact, one of the first things I thought when Nagy hired Mike Pettine as a senior defensive assistant was that he might well have made him defensive coordinator had he been available to him at the time he filled the position.
The second thought I had was more positive.
Finley already pointed out that Nagy basically had decided to hire Pagano the minute Fangio left.
Four years ago, general manager Ryan Pace fell in love with Mitch Trubisky and decided to draft him almost to the point where he basically excluded all other possibilities out of hand. He notoriously didn’t even meet with Deshaun Watson. It turned out to be the wrong move.
In both cases I’m sure Bears management thought that they were moving with “conviction” a term both Nagy and Pace love to use. Most notably in the case of Trubisky, people have wondered with some justification if Pace made up his mind too quickly and didn’t do the thorough evaluation of the other prospects that he should have.
The methodical approach to interviewing defensive coordinator candidates, though it may have been a excessive, could be an indication that Bears management have learned their lesson and don’t plan to make any hasty moves without considering all of the possibilities in the future.