NFL

Bears DC Pagano retires as Pace says all options on table at QB

By Sports Desk January 13, 2021

It will be an offseason of change for the Chicago Bears after Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano announced his retirement from coaching, while quarterback moves are expected.

Pagano served as Bears DC for the final two seasons of a 36-year coaching career.

He was Indianapolis Colts Head Coach for six seasons between 2012 and 2017, making the playoffs for the first three of those years.

Pagano, 60, spent 18 years coaching in college and the next 18 in various NFL roles.

"After 36 years of coaching the game I love, I have decided to retire from the National Football League," Pagano said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I'd like to sincerely thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization.

"Also, many thanks to the Irsay family and the Colts organization. 

"I am forever grateful to that community and to the support they have always given me both on and off the field.

"I'd also like to thank all the coaches, players and staff throughout my career. Thank you will never be enough to express my gratitude.

"As much as I love coaching, it takes a lot of time away from your family and loved ones.

"I'm excited to start this new chapter of my life and can't wait to be able to spend more time with my family. This has been an amazing ride and I have made countless relationships that I will cherish forever."

Pagano's announcement came after general manager Pace revealed everything was on the table at the QB position.

The Bears made the playoffs despite stumbling to an 8-8 record in 2020, though they were promptly eliminated by the New Orleans Saints on Wildcard Weekend.

Former number two overall pick Mitchell Trubisky is hoping to return but is scheduled to become a free agent after the team previously declined his fifth-year option.

While that draft selection does not appear to have panned out, a trade for Super Bowl champion Nick Foles failed to have the desired effect either.

"We definitely need more out of the [QB] position," Pace said. "We know that. What does that entail? That's what this whole offseason is about.

"Everything is on the table right now. You do learn and improve through experiences.

"I can confidently say I'm a lot better at this with each year of experience." 

Trubisky was 20th in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks with a passer rating of 93.5 in 2020, while Foles (80.8) was 29th in the same category.

Matt Nagy was named Coach of the Year in 2018 but consecutive 8-8 seasons have he and Pace under pressure to make the most of a strong all-round roster, something which could be possible with better options under center.

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