While the rash of rumors and reports saying the Bears had informed Matt Nagy he would be fired have died down recently, the pressure to win is still as high as ever at Halas Hall. When asked about that pressure, most coaches offer up the boilerplate response that all they’re focused on is winning the next game on their schedule. But in a candid moment on Monday, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo acknowledged he does think about the possibility that he could be out of a job before too long.
“To say that you don’t think about it would be a lie,” DeFilippo said. “Because you do have family and friends, and I consider a lot of people I work with lifelong friends.”
DeFilippo believes he’s less fazed by the rumors of the entire staff’s job insecurity, because he’s known it all his life. DeFilippo’s father, Gene, has been on both sides of a sports staff, as a college football coach and athletic director, so John’s seen it all.
“I’ve been around,” DeFilippo said. “I’ve seen my father sued by the state. I’ve seen a lot of things in my life. I’ve seen my father at Vanderbilt, our staff almost get fired. We got to Kentucky, the whole basketball scandal. We thought we were getting fired. It’s just a world I’ve grown up in.
“I’ve experienced it as a kid. I’ve experienced it as a professional. It’s pretty well documented the times I’ve been let go. I think you, over time with maturity, I think you block out the noise because it’s yourself and you’re doing everything you can to control what you can control.”
That’s not to say the rumors are completely unconcerning, even if DeFilippo's able to block out the noise personally.
“The people you worry about are actually the people that are outside in the noise—my wife and my daughter. Those are the people you worry about. My friends. My mom and dad. They read those things, because they have time to and they love me. So those are the people you worry about.
“We’re so insulated here in this building for however many hours a day that it’s like our fortress. It really is. A lot of the noise gets kept out of the fortress, and we’re fortunate for that. But it is what it is.
“So to say that you don’t think about it or feel it, it’s a lie. Because you do. It’s more so for other people than yourself.”