Bears DC Chuck Pagano not interested in again being head coach

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said Thursday that he's not interested in any future NFL head-coaching jobs.

"I'm not. I've done it," Pagano, the former Indianapolis Colts head coach, said at his introductory news conference.

"I'm motivated to just help coach Matt Nagy be successful. Help this organization be successful. Help these kids grow and develop. That's my motivation is to be the best I can be for this organization, for the McCaskey family, for Coach Nagy and for these players and for these coaches and help develop these guys. That's the only thing I want to do."

The Bears hired Pagano on Jan. 11 to replace Vic Fangio, who left to become head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Pagano, 58, coached the Colts for six seasons (2012 to 2017), winning two AFC South titles (2013, 2014) and making three consecutive playoff appearances (2012 to 2014). He was fired with a 53-43 regular-season record and a 3-3 mark in the postseason.

Indianapolis rebounded to reach the playoffs last year under first-time head coach Frank Reich. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season and battled injuries throughout Pagano's final three years, started all 16 regular-season games and passed for 4,593 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Luck led the Colts to an opening-round playoff victory over Houston before losing to Kansas City in the AFC divisional round.

"I am better, not bitter," Pagano said. "We had a great run, great experiences together. I was a lot better coach when No. 12 [Luck] was under center than I was when he wasn't, you know, and that's well documented. He probably got me a few more years than I may have deserved. I always say that. My wife is going to kill me for saying that: 'Just don't say that.' I just keep it real. But it was great to see Andrew back.

"There was a time there that he thought he was never going to play again and we had a lot of tough, critical conversations, you know, because he is such a great teammate and such a great competitor. The NFL is better when he is on the field, and I think we all saw that. It's great for the game, it's great for him, it's great for that organization."

Pagano worked as an NFL consultant last season. He said that a year away from coaching allowed him to "reset, recharge and reflect."

The coaching veteran takes over one of the league's best defensive units. Chicago's defense led the league last year in yards per play (4.78), points per game (17.7), takeaways (36) and interceptions (27).

"Our vision for this defense is to be the best," Pagano said. "Can we be the best in the history of the game? The pieces are there, and they will continue to add pieces. Can we continue to be better than we were last year? Absolutely. It's going to be very, very difficult and a huge challenge, but one we will be up for."
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