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New Bears Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano wants to beat the hell out of the Patriots just like the rest of us. He just a more personal reason for it.
Still, that "deep hatred" probably played a role in Pagano taking over a Bears defense he said could be the best in NFL history.
"My number 1 reason for trying to get back (into coaching?). Maybe I get another shot at them," Pagano told the Indy Star back in October as he was settling into his consulting job with the NFL. And by them, he of course meant the Patriots.
Pagano continues to play the hits to Bears fans - even if this was way before he was in the conversation for the DC job - because without the Patriots on the schedule in 2019, that would mean the two are facing off in Super Bowl LIIII in Miami.
Pagano has a long history against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick dating back to his head coaching days with the Colts (where he never beat New England) and even further back as DC and defensive assistant in Baltimore.
Pagano's playoff shortcomings against the Patriots certainly make his anti-New England prejudice understandable. The Patriots beat the Colts in the 2013 Divisional Round 42-20, and in the AFC Championship Game the next year 45-7.
"It's a deep hatred. Respect them, respect (Bill) Belichick, what he's doing. I respect Tom Brady, what a run they've had...so I do respect that. There is a deep hatred there."
Anyone else picturing Pagano pedaling away on Peloton ride number three of the day during the Super Bowl channeling Arya Stark's revenge refrain?
"The Hoody, TB 12, The Mountain Man Edelman, Gronk, McDaniels..."