Chicago Bears reportedly retain defensive coordinator Vic Fangio

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich works the sidelines against Arizona State in an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 29 2016 in Eugene Ore. Oregon beat Arizona State 54-35. Oregon beat Arizona State 54-35

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich works the sidelines against Arizona State in an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 29 2016 in Eugene Ore. Oregon beat Arizona State 54-35. Oregon beat Arizona State 54-35

The Chicago Bears hired former OR head coach Mark Helfrich to be their offensive coordinator, the team announced Friday. Still, the Bears and Nagy were eager to retain Fangio; their highly respected and veteran defensive coordinator who inherited one of the NFL's worst defenses in 2015 and coached the unit back to respectability over the last three seasons.

Fangio runs a 3-4 defense like the Cardinal have had for several seasons.

Fangio has been sought as a defensive coordinator elsewhere, including by the Green Bay Packers. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

Helfrich has never coached in the National Football League before, but he worked for current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter at Boise State before a successful run at OR under Kelly, the former Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers coach.

In his introductory press conference, Nagy said he and Fangio had spoken about retaining him.

Before posting a 37-16 overall record at OR, which included guiding the Ducks to a Pac-12 championship and an appearance in the national championship game in 2014, Helfrich was Kelly's offensive coordinator. Fangio had been in discussions with Bears the last few days about a possible return, even though Fangio was free to negotiate with other clubs beginning on Tuesday. In 2017, the Bears finished ninth in points and 10th in yards. It accomplished that while losing six starters or key contributors to injured reserve: outside linebackers Leonard Floyd, Willie Young and Pernell McPhee, inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, safety Quintin Demps and defensive end Mitch Unrein. Fangio knows the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel, and that will be an aid in tweaking the roster this offseason. Line coach Harry Hiestand and running backs coach Charles London were hired on Wednesday.

The Bears have had a busy week of hires this week, bringing in Mark Helfrich as their offensive coordinator and Chris Tabor as their special teams coordinator.

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