Keys to the kingdom
Inheriting this Bears defense is akin to pulling on a pair of jeans and finding a crisp $100 bill in the front pocket. ■ And another hundo in the back. ■ So here you go, Chuck Pagano. Here are four Pro Bowlers (three All-Pros), part of the NFL’s third-ranked defense in 2018. No team took the ball away more. No team was scored upon less. ■ And now, no new coordinator faces higher expectations in 2019. ■ Pagano, 58, was hired Friday to replace respected coordinator Vic Fangio, whom the Broncos hired as head coach. Exactly what Pagano will accomplish with this loaded defense remains to be seen. But the evidence from his recent history shows checkered results on the field and many loyal players who vouch for his energetic, dedicated, aggressive style. ■ Here is a rundown of Pagano’s only year as an NFL defensive coordinator and the six he coached the Colts before spending 2018 away from the sideline. From his battle with leukemia in 2012 to the Colts’ run to the 2014 AFC championship game to their swift downfall, Pagano joins the Bears with a lot to prove.
QUOTES FROM THE BALTIMORE SUN AND INDIANPOLIS STAR NO PRO BOWL DEFENDERS IN 2016 OR 2017