CHICAGO — Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano will not be the only new coach on that side of the ball for the Bears.
After Pagano was hired Friday night to take over the defense following Vic Fangio's exit to become Broncos head coach, the Bears have been working to modify the defensive staff.
While the future of secondary coach Ed Donatell remains unknown, the Bears informed outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley he will not return, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Staley coached the position for the last two seasons. The Bears finished tied for third in the league with 50 sacks this season with outside linebackers combining for 20 1/2 , led by Khalil Mack's 12 1/2 . While former first-round pick Leonard Floyd hasn't played to his draft level yet, he did make improvements in 2017 and again in 2018 after overcoming a broken right hand.
A source said the rumor making the rounds in league circles is that Rob Ryan, the son of Buddy Ryan, architect of the 1985 Bears defense, could be hired as the replacement for Staley.
Ryan was the Raiders defensive coordinator from 2004-08, and Pagano worked under him as Oakland's secondary coach for the first two years of that stint. Ryan, 56, has been out of the league for the last two years. He last worked as assistant head coach/defense for the Bills in 2016. He was the Saints defensive coordinator from 2013 through 2015, so general manager Ryan Pace knows him well. Ryan was a ball boy for the Bears while in high school, growing up around the dominant defenses that his father oversaw.
Donatell, 61, is coming out of contract and it's believed he could follow Fangio to Denver. The Bears are no doubt closer to pursuing a Super Bowl championship than the Broncos but Donatell was passed over for the coordinator position. Whether that's enough for him to leave remains to be seen. Fangio was passed over for the head coaching position that went to Matt Nagy a year ago and the Bears convinced him to stay on as coordinator.
If Donatell leaves, the Bears could promote Roy Anderson. Anderson joined the Bears as safeties coach last year and he worked with Pagano previously in Indianapolis and Baltimore.
What happens with the remainder of the defensive coaching staff remains to be seen. It's not unusual for an outside coordinator hire to have a say in a move or two when taking a new job. The Bears are happy with the work of defensive line coach Jay Rodgers, who helped develop former second-round pick Eddie Goldman and has overseen the ascent of defensive end Akiem Hicks. It's difficult to imagine Pagano will not retain Rodgers.