LAKE FOREST Youth James Washington Jersey , Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was obviously thrilled when he found out about the trade for two-time All-Pro Khalil Mack last weekend.
Fangio is eager to work with Mack after the Bears pulled off a blockbuster deal with Oakland on Saturday, jolting a franchise with four straight last-place finishes.
The trade capped a busy offseason that saw the Bears mostly load up around quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Fangio now has one of the best pass rushers in the NFL leading an already solid defense, not a bad consolation after he got passed over for the head coaching job in favor of Matt Nagy.
The Bears suddenly seem like contenders for a playoff spot. But Fangio wasn’t about to plan any parades.
He has plenty to do this week, working in a new superstar while scheming to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a primetime opener at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. It’s not clear how much Mack will play, though he obviously figures to give the defense a huge boost whenever he steps on the field.
“Well, I would say (Mack) could be a major help to us,” Fangio said. “Any time you get a player of his ability it can do nothing but help make you better, helps make the players around him better, but he’s been the same player in Oakland throughout his career, very well decorated and a lot of honors that he deserved and Oakland was never better than mid-20s in defense, so one guy doesn’t make a whole unit, as pretty evident by that.”
The Raiders ranked in the 20s on defense in each of Mack’s four seasons. But he’s joining a unit that was 10th overall last year.
Now Youth Detroit Lions Jerseys , the Bears are adding a player with 40½ sacks, and nine forced fumbles in his four seasons. Mack also leads all players with 185½ quarterback pressures and ranks second with 68 tackles for loss since entering the league, according to SportRadar.
It’s not hard for Fangio to envision more opportunities for Leonard Floyd on the opposite edge with opponents keying on Mack. He sees the same for the inside linebackers and the defensive backs, with quarterbacks under more pressure.
“It’s a chain reaction, a domino effect and hopefully, that’s what we’ll see,” Fangio said.
The question is how soon.
Mack sat out the entire offseason and preseason with Oakland trying to get a long-term extension rather than play under the final year of his rookie contract. He wound up getting a six-year, $141 million extension that guarantees him $90 million and makes him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
“I think for Khalil and us in general it’s just going to be knowing where he’s at mentally with Vic’s system and then understanding where he is physically and matching the two together,” Nagy said. “We’re not going to know really until we get into it and we just kind of gauge it.”
Like Mack, rookie inside linebacker Roquan Smith is playing catch-up. The No. 8 overall draft pick held out the first three weeks of training camp before agreeing to a four-year contract that guarantees him $18.5 million. He has dealt with a tight left hamstring the past three weeks. And Floyd is getting used to playing with a casted club on his broken right hand.
“These guys are very talented,” Mack said. “You see the skillsets that they have. We’re only trying to get better. That’s the only thing I’m asking from the group, that we all get better and hold each other accountable.
The Alliance of American Football has announced the name of another head coach for its inaugural season in 2019.
Rick Neuheisel will coach the Phoenix entry in the league Authentic Customized Chiefs Jerseys , which plans to launch in February 2019. Neuheisel’s involvement has been expected for some time, although initial reports indicated that he would be coaching a team based in Southern California.
Neuheisel will instead take over the Phoenix entry and he will coach home games at Sun Devil Stadium. Neuheisel is familiar with the stadium as he coached against Arizona State when he was the head coach at the University of Washington and when he coached UCLA.
“The Alliance鈥檚 emphasis on building a dynamic relationship between players, fans and the game is what immediately grabbed my attention. There is nothing like experiencing the thrill of victory and agony of defeat together. We all invest so much into the game, and that鈥檚 something I鈥檝e missed over the years away from the sidelines,鈥?Neuheisel said in a statement. 鈥淭he combination of a passionate fan base and motivated, talented players looking to make a name for themselves on the professional level will result in exciting football at Sun Devil Stadium in the spring, with the ultimate goal being to bring home the first ever Alliance Championship.”
Neuheisel also coached at the University of Colorado and spent time on the Ravens staff from 2005 to 2007. He joins Steve Spurrier, Brad Childress, Mike Singletary and Dennis Erickson as head coaches in the upstart league.