By Chris Emma–
MOBILE, Ala. (CBS) — While Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wasn’t clear to the level of interest he received to potentially rejoin the 49ers in the same position, he did confirm he plans to stay in Chicago.
Speaking after Wednesday’s practice with the North team at the Senior Bowl, Fangio discussed his first weeks of the offseason and future with the Bears.
“There’s a lot of things that go on this time of year,” he said. “Just hearsay stuff. This, that and the other thing. Nothing really there.
“I’m under contract here. That’s just the way it is.”
The 49ers, for whom Fangio coached four seasons, have yet to formally unveil their new coaching staff. Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is likely to be named head coach after the Super Bowl.
Fangio, 58, joined John Fox’s staff in Chicago in 2015 after San Francisco dismissed coach Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers were set to hire then-Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who wanted Fangio to remain as defensive coordinator. San Francisco management instead tried to force Jim Tomsula for the position. Gase fled with Fangio to Fox’s staff in Chicago, and Tomsula was named 49ers head coach.
A report of philosophical differences between Fox and Fangio emerged in December, with their relationship thrust into the spotlight. Fangio has denied the validity of the report. Last week, a report surfaced that the Bears blocked the 49ers from interviewing Fangio.
Neither Fox nor Fangio could confirm whether the 49ers requested permission to speak with Fangio. If the report is indeed true, it further puts to rest the report of a rift.
Fox, Fangio and the Bears remain at work in Mobile this week for the Senior Bowl. Fangio has his eyes on players who can help his defense become better at getting takeaways.
“It’s a priority,” Fangio said. “To be a good defense, you got to be able to take the ball away. We haven’t done that well. We got to find guys that can do it. We got to improve in a lot of areas. If you improve a little bit in all spots, the takeaways will come, as long as you got some guys that have the knack for doing it.”