Chicago Bears Mailbag: Pre-NFL Draft Edition

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Chuck Pagano
Chicago Bears (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

3. Can the Bears Defense remain elite under Chuck Pagano?

Yes, the Bears defense can. Last time Chuck Pagano had a defense this talented, it was the 2011 Baltimore Ravens. That year, Pagano’s defense gave up just 16.6 points per game, notched 48 sacks, and 90 quarterback hits.

While the Bears were highly successful due to continuity under Fangio, one thing to understand about Pagano is that he is not going to change up the Bears defense to the point where the team will need to learn an entirely new scheme. Pagano himself admitted that there will be a few minor changes, but nothing major.

For the Bears defense to remain elite, there are two players who will need to breakout in 2019: Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd. Smith is very capable of being the top linebacker at his position in 2019, while Floyd is coming off a five-game stretch to end the 2018 season where he showed that he can be a true difference maker.

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Pagano knows what it takes to run an elite defense. While Fangio was instrumental in building the defense Pagano inherited, the goal for Pagano will be to add to what Fangio built and eventually get the Bears to the Super Bowl. The first three games of 2019 will be a major key in setting the tone for the defense. Those three games will allow us to get a major glimpse of what Pagano does right, what he’s carried over from Vic Fangio’s defense, and what he’s going to do differently.