It was a historically bad season for the Chicago Bears. Not since the league went to a 16-game schedule have the Bears lost so many games in a season. How did the coaching staff perform? Is there hope for this group?
The 2016 Chicago Bears squad was one of the worst in team history. There are several factors that contributed to their downfall but injuries were easily the biggest issue. They had 19 players on injured reserve to start the season while several more were playing hurt. You can’t do anything when your best players aren’t lining up for you on game days. And no team can overcome the obstacles that were thrown in the Bears’ path this season.
Because of the number of injuries the Bears had, the coaching staff is getting a pass and will be retained for one more season. This is good and bad. For one, it does prove that the Bears are somewhat non-dysfunctional and are not going to fire coaches every two years if they don’t do well. Sometimes it takes more than two years to build a team and make it a winner. Other teams have had quicker success but the Bears, with their upper management, are not going to have a quick turn around.
The retention of the current coaching staff can be considered a plus because it allows for some continuity heading into next season. There isn’t much that will need to change in terms of each unit’s scheme. Now all that is needed is the players to add to what they already have. If they can combine the new talent with what is left of the group of guys, they can move forward. Hopefully they move forward to more victories.
But one of the drawbacks to having the same coaching staff again is that the same problems could occur. You can have the same issues with instilling a winning attitude that John Fox has. With Dowell Loggains, we can have his inability to run the football rear its ugly head again in 2017. That is not good for the Bears. The offensive play calling was also questionable. Will we see that again next season?
There was supposedly some friction between Fox and Vic Fangio and it appears that either isn’t true or it’s been taken care of. The Bears cannot afford to lose Fangio as he is arguably the best coach on the Bears’ staff. Given healthy players that can execute, Fangio could have one of the top defenses in the NFL. Having the healthy bodies available is the key.
Special teams for the Bears was mediocre at best this past season. Kicking started off rough for the Bears while punting was thought to be solid until you look at the numbers. Coverage teams were decent enough but the return teams were not as productive as they have been in the past. Jeff Rodgers and his crew still struggle to find a good return specialist that can make a difference. There is much more work that needs to be done here.
The following is a look at the Bear’s top four coaches, Fox, Fangio, Loggains and Rodgers. There is some insight into how they did this year and what the future may hold for the 2017 campaign.