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Home / Sports / Bears questions coach Ed Donatell with the defender for the role of coordinator; Chuck Pagano on the radar of the team

Bears questions coach Ed Donatell with the defender for the role of coordinator; Chuck Pagano on the radar of the team



While Vic Fangio was featured on Thursday as the head coach of the Broncos, the Bears set out to identify his successor.

Defensive coach Ed Donatell, who joined the Bears in 2015 The role of coach John Fox and Fangio was interviewed on Thursday according to a source in the league.

Donatell, 61, was twice co-ordinator in a long NFL coaching career that began in 1990 with the Jets. He is said to have developed one of the best defensive fields in the league. Cornerback Kyle Fuller and Free Safety Eddie Jackson was named by the All Pro and Pro Bowl teams this season. Veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara is arguably his best season; Bryce Callahan has become an unrestricted free agent who will interest the Bears and other teams.

The Bears led the NFL with 27 interceptions, most of them since 31

in 1990 and 72.9 opponents passer ratings.

Holding Donatell would be the most seamless transition for coach Matt Nagy, as no language would change and the game book would remain the same. Donatell has worked with all the assistants, so there would be little sales.

It is also thought that the Bears have a keen interest in meeting former Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who is said to be in the mix with several clubs. He could be the No. 1 goal for Nagy and General Manager Ryan Pace.

A source said the bears are looking for a quality candidate to run a 3-4 plan, even though they would not rule out someone with a 4 -3 background. This is not a big problem as the defense in a three-man front is ranked far below a four-man front, as the modern NFL demands such a strong reliance on nickel and other sub-packages.

Pagano, 58, has done so interviewing the Panthers, who have a vacancy for a second coach, but may reorganize the staff's credentials, while coach Ron Rivera is re-directing the defense. Pagano was off this season, but could have options; The Browns and Cardinals also reportedly had an interest in him as a defensive coordinator.

Donatell gets out of contract with the Bears, and if he does not get promoted to coordinator, there's a big chance that he would go to Fangio's Denver staff. With several teams looking for defensive coordinators, the Bears job is the best in the league, so Nagy and Pace will have no trouble getting the candidates' attention.

bmbiggs@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @BradBiggs

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