Fangio served as DC for the Bears from 2015 until 2018, when he landed his first head coaching gig with the Denver Broncos. Denver amassed a record of 19-30 in Fangio’s three seasons with the team, with his best season coming in 2019, when the Broncos finished with a 7-9 mark. He was fired after the Broncos went 7-10 in 2021, and is currently serving as an advisor to the 7-0 Philadelphia Eagles.
Fangio told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press in August of 2022 that he’d like to be a defensive coordinator again, likely in 2023. One of the best defensive minds in the NFL, he shouldn’t have any issues finding employment.
Could the much-loved former Bears DC land in Green Bay?
Packers Fans Calling for Vic Fangio to Replace Joe Berry
Under the guidance of Fangio in 2018, the Bears defense led the league in points allowed per game (17.7). Chicago’s ‘D’ was also first in rushing yards allowed (80.0), first in total takeaways (36), first in interceptions (27), third in sacks (50.0) and third in total yards allowed (299.7).
He became a fan favorite while in the Windy City, largely because of the solid defenses he shaped, but also due to his matter-of-fact demeanor.
The Packers hired Barry to be their new DC in 2021, and since his arrival, the team’s defensive performance has declined.
Green Bay has six first-round draft picks starting on defense, and many are suggesting Barry’s scheme isn’t getting the most out of the team’s talent.
It seems many Packer fans feel as though Fangio would be an ideal replacement for Barry, despite the current Packers DC being a descendent from the Fangio tree. (Barry worked under former Rams DC and current Chargers head coach Brandon Staley in 2020, and Staley worked with Fangio in both Chicago and Denver).
Some fans are calling for the Packers to get on the phone with Fangio before the regular season ends:
Others went so far as to say the Packers were wasting the season by keeping Barry around:
Bears Nation wouldn’t be thrilled to see Fangio coaching up the defense of their biggest rival. The Bears and quarterback Justin Fields would also likely want to avoid facing his defense twice a year.
Fangio served as defensive coordinator for a top-three scoring defense in five different seasons (in 1996, 2011, 2012, 2013 and with the Bears in 2018). He tends to have success wherever he goes — but he likely won’t be heading to Green Bay. At least, not this year.
Matt LaFleur Says He’s not Firing Barry
Reports have surface that it’s not just fans of the team who are growing tired of Barry.
“According to sources close to members of the Packers’ defense, players have grown frustrated with the defensive scheme and playcalling,” Rob Demovsky of ESPN reported on October 31, adding: “One source said there has been ‘a declining confidence in the defensive scheme and what’s being called, and it’s led to overall frustration with the defense.’ Another source confirmed that sentiment.”
That said, it doesn’t look like Green Bay will be parting ways with its current DC anytime soon.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was asked if he had any plans on relieving Barry of his duties and said: “Oh, no, absolutely not,” per Demovsky.
We’ll see how the season progresses, but Fangio could be a legitimate option for the Pack next year, particularly if Barry doesn’t get better results soon.