The Bears are looking to get the most out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and emerge from one of the worst runs in franchise history.
The Chicago Bears have continuity returning to their defense that made big strides last season. "We all are aware of that situation and that's a very important hire for me", Nagy said during his introductory news conference.
The 59-year-old coach was being pursued by other teams, including the Green Bay Packers, for their defensive coordinator positions, but those opportunities seemed to dry up, so Fangio's return to Chicago seemed likely.
Fangio returned from the West Coast early Wednesday and was in discussions with the team that day.
Helfrich began his coaching career as running backs coach at Southern Oregon in 1996 before playing and serving as offensive coordinator in Europe with the Vienna (Austria) Vikings in 1997.
The Arizona Cardinals possibly will be part of what will appear to be a defensive coordinator trade with the Chicago Bears. By no means did that close off all options for Fangio.
The 44-year-old Helfrich worked with Tennessee Titans quarterback and former Heisman Trophy victor Marcus Mariota in college.
The Bears finished the season 10th with 319.1 yards allowed per game and ninth with 20 points allowed per game. Helfrich went 37-16 as head coach of the Ducks before the school fired him at the end of the 2016 season.
Fangio has been available since Tuesday. Injuries have consistently exposed a lack of depth, and Pace's record in free agency has so far been shaky in trying to replace talented players such as receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, tight end Martellus Bennett and kicker Robbie Gould. And Helfrich's head-coaching experience should assist Nagy, a first-time National Football League head coach and full-time play-caller who'll be able to lean on Helfrich's background as he acclimates to a new position.
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