Bears DC Vic Fangio taking high road on snub by 49ers


Bears DC Vic Fangio taking high road on snub by 49ers

Say what he would, no one quite believed John Fox that the Denver Broncos, the team that excused him from their head-coach position, represented just another team on the schedule.

For Vic Fangio, the San Francisco 49ers weren’t the team that dismissed him as head coach. They were the team that never even gave him the chance after years of experience and major success as defensive coordinator. 

Starting in 2011, Fangio took a doormat 49ers defense into a perennial spot among the NFL’s elite. Yet when Jim Harbaugh was ousted as 49ers head coach, Fangio was given only what was considered a perfunctory courtesy interview for the top job, then watched it go to Jim Tomsula, Fangio’s defensive line coach.

Sources said that Fangio and Tomsula did not get along especially well, and that Fangio was unhappy at being passed over for Tomsula.

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"That's their decision and their choice," Fangio said on Wednesday. "I always accepted it's their decision and their team."

Beyond that, Fangio took the high road, pointing to "a lot of fond memories" from his 49ers tenure.

For all of his successes directing defenses — Fangio teams have been in the playoffs 13 of his 29 seasons coaching at the NFL level — Fangio has never been a head coach at any level, beyond special assistant to the head coach/defense from 2006-08 with the Baltimore Ravens.

Even Adam Gase got a more serious look from the 49ers. But the dysfunction that was evident through Harbaugh’s last year continued and arguably intensified as Gase wanted to keep Fangio as defensive coordinator, but 49ers ownership wanted Tomsula promoted to that spot.

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However, general manager Trent Baalke maintained that Gase was never offered the job, saying during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, “the job for the 49ers was offered to one person and one person only and that's Jim Tomsula."

Not that Fangio needed any particular motivation, but Baalke likely gave him some.

Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout is quickly becoming an icon in American sports. The two-time American League MVP is enjoying another dominant season batting .335 with 23 home runs and 48 RBI.

On Tuesday, he took a swing at what Bears fans may consider a shocking NFL prediction.

“I’ve got the Browns having a better record than the Bears,” Trout told a radio reporter, according to the Los Angeles Times. Trout's comments were made in response the reporter "talking up" Chicago.

Both the Browns and Bears have had productive offseasons that involved headline-grabbing acquisitions on offense. Cleveland drafted QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, traded for WR Jarvis Landry, signed RB Carlos Hyde and drafted a backfield mate for him in Georgia's Nick Chubb. They added potential lockdown corner Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick, too. Add all that to a motivated Josh Gordon ready to contribute for a full season, and there's good reason to be excited in Cleveland.

Still, it's hard imagining Trout can be that confident in a team that's won only one game over the last two seasons. And let's not forget what GM Ryan Pace has done this offseason, one that's been praised by analysts from all corners of the NFL universe. From new coach Matt Nagy to free-agent WR Allen Robinson and all the skill players in between, the Bears are ready to make a legitimate run in the NFC North.

Trout doesn't strike out much in the major leagues, but this prediction feels like it could be a back-straining whiff.

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is former Bears star Matt Forte going to be the team’s new running backs coach?

For now, that’s Charles London’s job, who was hired to head coach Matt Nagy’s staff earlier this year.

But on Tuesday night, Forte tweeted that he would like a coaching spot with Chicago sometime in the near future.

Serving as evidence, the now-retired running back responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which announced the Broncos’ hiring of former linebacker Demarcus Ware as a “pass-rush consultant on a part-time basis.” Forte tweeted at the Bears, saying that he is “available” to take on a similar role to Ware’s new Denver gig.

Forte’s tweet was relatively cryptic, and he never specified exactly what type of job he would want with the Bears. After finishing up a storied career this past season and solidifying his name as a Bears legend, Forte has proven that he could easily coach young running backs or even wide receivers at some point.

But isn’t this all just a joke?

Forte silenced the doubters by tweeting “I wasn’t joking” as a response to an article saying that his desire for a new occupation with the Bears was simply a gag. The former workhorse was also intrigued by a fan’s tweet asking “Coach Forte??”

The mere thought of having Forte back in Chicago with the Bears’ coaching staff sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy. In April, Forte came back to Halas Hall to ink his name on a one-day contract, successfully allowing him to retire as a Bear. Now, Forte wants a lengthier stay in the Windy City.

Ware’s role with Denver is not extensive by any means and, according to Schefter, he will work a pretty scattered schedule with Broncos players. What Forte’s role would look like with the Bears is completely unknown if his plan to coach becomes a reality.

Forte has the running back credentials to take on a coaching position. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte racked up a combined 8,602 rushing yards, second to only the great Walter Payton. Forte’s 4,116 receiving yards as a running back, 12,718 yards from scrimmage, 24 games with 100 rushing yards and 25 games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage also ranks second behind Payton.

Maybe this will be a new development in Chicago’s offseason plans, but there is no real talk of bringing one of the team’s all-time leading rushers back to the team as of right now.

Last month, NBC Sports Chicago announced Forte will be joining the network as a Bears game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. And we're not joking about that.