Why Bears' DC Fangio has surpassed his original "ultimate dream"

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Has Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has thought about running his own show at the NFL level? "Well, sure," he said. "(But) it wasn't my ultimate dream. My ultimate dream when I got into coaching was to be a high school head coach and live happily ever after."

    Has Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has thought about running his own show at the NFL level? "Well, sure," he said. "(But) it wasn't my ultimate dream. My ultimate dream when I got into coaching was to be a high school head coach and live happily ever after." Associated Press

 
 
Updated 12/28/2017 7:45 PM

Mike Zimmer, a graduate of Aurora's Marmion Academy, was in coaching for 35 years, including 20 years in the NFL and 14 as a defensive coordinator. before he became the Minnesota Vikings' head coach at age 57 in 2014.

It's not common for assistants of that age to become first-time head coaches in the NFL.

 

"Especially if they're not coaching offense," said Vic Fangio, the Chicago Bears' 59-year-old defensive coordinator who has been a head-coaching candidate in the past.

So Fangio has thought about running his own show at the NFL level.

"Well, sure," he said. "(But) it wasn't my ultimate dream. My ultimate dream when I got into coaching was to be a high school head coach and live happily ever after."

That was in 1979, when Fangio began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Dunmore (Pennsylvania) High School.

"Things happen," Fangio said. "Sure I'd like it (an NFL head-coaching job), but I don't take it personal or think I'm any less better or less qualified than anybody else. Certain people are looking for certain parameters in their searches. But I'm happy for Mike. I know Mike a little bit, and he's a good football coach."

Fangio said he isn't worried about the pink slips that are expected around the league on Black Monday, including at Halas Hall.

"My whole focus this week is on the game Sunday," said Fangio, a 31-year NFL coaching veteran. "I know that sounds like a packaged answer, but it really is. We'll deal with next week when we need to deal with it. I think experience and longevity help me do that vs. some of the younger coaches."

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A quick healer:

When Bears rookie safety Eddie Jackson, the fourth-round pick (112th overall) out of Alabama, was in the starting lineup on opening day, it had been less than 11 months since he suffered a fractured leg.

Jackson has started every other game as well, missing just a handful of snaps all season.

"Eddie's got good football acumen coming through Alabama," Bears coach John Fox said. "Nick (Saban), his head coach, was a DB coach for a long time. You go through four years of that system and the techniques, (and) you've got a pretty good feel (for the game).

"And naturally he's pretty good. He's got good ball skills. He was a punt returner (at Alabama). He's got good tracking skills."

Jackson is tied for the team lead with 2 interceptions. He returned his first pick 76 yards for a touchdown and in the same game returned a fumble 75 yards for a TD. That game was exactly one year from the day his leg was fractured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Only three Bears have more touchdowns than Jackson this year.

Injury update:

Starting right tackle Bobby Massie (knee) and left guard Josh Sitton (ankle) did not practice Thursday.

But backup offensive linemen Bradley Sowell (back) and Tom Compton (concussion) appear ready to step up.

Sowell, who started his first game of the season last week at left guard, was a full participant. Compton, who has started four games -- two at left guard and two at right guard -- was removed from the injury report.

Tight end Adam Shaheen (chest) and safety DeAndre Houston-Carson (back) were limited.

For the Vikings, starting center Pat Elflein (shoulder) and long-snapper Kevin McDermott (shoulder) did not practice. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) was limited.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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