When Fox was hired by the Bears, they felt that they had found a winning coach. They had to have thought that, with his pedigree, he could easily get the Bears put back together and get them to the playoffs. Maybe he could even get them to a Super Bowl. Couldn’t he easily clean up the mess left by former head coach Marc Trestman? Upper management and ownership thought he could.
Fox took a broken team and made it a little better in his first season but this year the bottom fell out. We have talked a lot about the fact that injuries had a big part of what caused the Bears to fall apart this season and for that, Fox and his crew will get a pass. If he had better health and no issues at quarterback and still went 3-13, he would probably be gone.
There are some things that Fox doesn’t do well. Clock management is one thing he struggles with. He struggled with that before he got to Chicago though. Managing information is another but that’s not affecting things on the field. It just frustrates the fans and the media. That doesn’t affect how his team plays on the field.
Another issue that Fox seems to have is putting a winning attitude in the heads of his players. You didn’t see the team try to win too many games. Instead, you saw them try not to lose them. Not trying to lose means playing it safe and not trying to build a lead. It also means not managing the clock better. Now you did see them play to win against the Packers in December, that was clear but in almost every other game, the did not attempt to take the steps to try to really come out and win the game. That falls on Fox.
While he has had success in Carolina and Denver, he has seemed to hit a bit of a wall in Chicago. Is it his fault? Not entirely. Management, particularly upper management, has not provided the Bears with some of the tools they need to win. They are finding good players but some of these players have seemingly come to the team “pre-injured” and don’t see the field that often (Kevin White and Pernell McPhee). They are supposed to be high impact players but they miss an enormous amount of time.
This is what Fox has had to deal with since arriving in the windy city.
2016 was a very poor outing for Fox, this we know. But when the players that landed on injured reserve are back and healthy and the quarterback position is stable, there will be no more excuses. If things go well with the roster during the 2017 season, then Fox needs to get this team to win. If he doesn’t, his third year in Chicago will be his last.