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The Weekend Bears Den: January 17, 2015 - Postseason Chicago Bears news & notes

The Weekend Bears Den: It's a thing.

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John Fox means the return of smash-mouth football to the Bears - Matt Bowen: Downhill collisions in the hole that felt like a train wreck. That was my experience in the NFL the morning after playing John Fox's Panthers teams. Tough, nasty football — with nowhere to hide.

Fox hiring deserves approval from fans, Brian Urlacher - David Haugh: Nobody ever will accuse Fox's Bears of being too cute or of embodying more finesse than force. Hiring Fox felt like a once-proud franchise taking a major step back toward respectability.

John Fox's first key: His choice as OC - Mark Potash: From Matt Forte to the O-line and probably to Jay Cutler, this talented offense lacking in direction, leadership and an identity is eager to get back to the run-based attack that Fox favors.

Fox has had success drafting on 'D' - Not-Hub Arkush: History suggests that Fox will be on the lookout for a game-wrecking defender in the draft at No. 7. For a moribund defense with such a sterling tradition, isn’t that what Bears fans want to hear?

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  Den pic in hi-res.

Chicago Bears hire John Fox as new head coach

Bears hire John Fox as head coach - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Friday reached an agreement with John Fox to become the 15th head coach in franchise history. 10 facts about John Fox ... (CBS): Fox explains Denver exit.

Bears hire John Fox as new head coach - Dan Wiederer, Rich Campbell, Brad Biggs: Kyle Shanahan could emerge as a top candidate to become the Bears OC with Dennis Allen a potential option as the DC.  Moon Mullin: Bears land John Fox as franchise’s 15th head coach.

Fox becomes 15th head coach in Bears history - Bob LeGere: Fox brings a proven record and a wealth of experience, including the last 13 years as a head coach. His teams in Denver and Carolina compiled a 119-89 record, both franchises making Super Bowl apperances.

Bears hire John Fox as head coach - Not-Hub Fishbain: Fox is the first Bears head coach to come to Chicago with prior NFL head-coaching experience since Paddy Driscoll in 1956.   Michael C. Wright: One of just six coaches to lead two different teams to the Super Bowl.

Bears find their man in John Fox - Dan Durkin: Throughout his career, Fox has shown an ability to adapt to the available talent on his roster. He inherits a difficult challenge in Chicago, a team that lacks leadership and young talent.  Chris Emma: Quick bio.

John Fox hired as head coach of Bears - Chris Burke: Upon taking over, the first task for Pace was to find a coach capable of bringing the franchise back to center. He has a long road to travel to get the Bears back to postseason contention, and covered a lot of ground by nabbing Fox.

How the Bears landed John Fox so fast - Moon Mullin: Seemingly, Ernie Accorsi understood what was happening in Denver even before Fox and the Broncos split last Monday. Fox hitting the open market was not a surprise at Halas Hall.

John Fox most sensible choice for Bears - Jeff Dickerson: Veteran coach brings stability that has been lacking at Halas Hall, as strong evidence suggests Fox can change the Bears’ culture.

Fox should lead Bears back to identity - Michael C. Wright: New coach has built reputation for winning with tough running game and sound defense.

Fox hiring brings promise of order - Melissa Isaacson: Veteran coach brings a promise of stability and discipline to the organization; also has impressive history of helping teams improve quickly.

Mr. Fix It brings defense, discipline to Bears - Kevin Patra: Some might pan the choice as conservative and uninspiring, but right now the broken Bears desperately needed a recalibration by a veteran voice. And Fox is nothing if not a fixer.

Experience counts with Super Bowl winners - Mike Imrem: Even those among us who preferred someone younger, newer and fresher must concede that this was a solid hire. Veteran head coaches are winning Super Bowls, and the Bears joined in with John Fox.

D.J. Williams: Fox's experience huge bonus for Bears - Jeff Dickerson: Free agent linebacker believes that John Fox's wealth of experience set him apart from other candidates.

Former Panther: John Fox's passion, honesty stirs players - Dan Wiederer: Jordan Gross shares his thoughts on Fox’s leadership style and the success they enjoyed together in Carolina.

'Everybody is fired up' for John Fox - Adam L. Jahns: From Ryan Pace to Fox, the team’s recent moves are a clear indication that George McCaskey is determined to fix his franchise and make it competitive.

Everything falls into place for Bears and new coach - Rich Campbell: Fox seems capable of rehabilitating the wounds in locker room trust. He has endeared himself to players with his willingness to interact candidly and his ability to connect with different personality types.

John Fox hits ground running upon arrival - Brad Biggs: Fox is not expected to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., next week while he works to complete his coaching staff. Ryan Pace said he will join the Bears' staff for the premier college all-star game.

Fox ready to give Bears a 'Crash' course - Patrick Finley: The Bears wanted someone who could help return toughness to a franchise that had seemingly forgotten it and return discipline to the locker room.  Former GM: Will bring 'cohesion' to Bears.

Fox expected to take a direct approach - Brad Biggs: Former player on the Panthers team that Fox inherited recalls new coach's first team meeting: "A lot of reasons you were 1-15 are sitting in this room, and it's my job to weed you out.' "

Based on his reputation, Bears eagerly anticipate Fox's impact - Dan Wiederer: New Bears coach has a reputation for connecting easily with players, and his former players are sure he has just the right blend of charisma and candor along with ambition and affability to spark a revival in Chicago.

Further reaction and looking ahead

Fox hiring is a veteran move by the Bears - Rick Morrissey: For Bears fans, worrying about whether Fox wants to win a championship is like worrying about whether Kate Upton snores. Let’s just watch him get a 5-11 team right.

Bears, Ryan Pace go safe with John Fox - Is-Hub Arkush: Fox will put together a highly professional and talented group of assistants, and he will clean up the Bears locker room in very short order. But is he so different from Lovie Smith?

Stats & Info - What do the Bears get with John Fox?  Not-Hub Fishbain: Fox's college coach: Bears getting 'a real good football man'.

Health scare in 2013 has not diminished Fox's 'exuberance and energy' - Mark Potash: When John Elway lauded Fox’s "exuberance … energy" Tuesday after mutually parting ways, he also acknowledged that "he never lost that."

As third-term coaches go, don't expect the world from Fox - David Just: To be a head coach so long that you get an opportunity to coach three teams typically means you’re good enough to win games, but not good enough to finish the job.

The media's perspective on John Fox - Patrick Finley finds a Denver journalist who can't resist taking a shot at Jay Cutler. Jilted girlfriend syndrome: it's real.

New Bears coach, GM have much work to do - Barry Rozner: It's going to take some time to rebuild the Bears, but at least Ryan Pace now has an experienced NFL guy and true professional to lean on.

For new Bears coach, so much to do, so little time to do it - Mike Mulligan: There is a bewildering amount of work to be done, starting with a ruthless evaluation process that also will weed out potential troublemakers and re-establish discipline and accountability in the locker room.

Fox right man for Bears' rebuilding job - Brad Biggs: Bears go for experience in choosing John Fox, a coach that will rebuild the defense and emphasize the running game, and who walks the fine line between being a players' coach but also being demanding.

John Fox knows just what Bears need: defense - Steve Rosenbloom: Breaking from a long, frustrating tradition, the Bears hired a coach who has done the job before. Fox will bring a confidence in handling the demands of an NFL head coach that none of the other candidates could.

Fox hiring foreshadows changes to Bears 'D' - Moon Mullin: Fox has run a 4-3 defense since his time in Carolina, but uses linemen physically suited for two-gap schemes and a smaller speed rusher as the fourth member of his front four.  Bears interested in Vic Fangio, Dennis Allen.

Candidates Fox may consider for coaching staff - Bob LeGere with a list of possible candidates for offensive and defensive coordinators.

Potential Bears OC candidates - Dan Durkin: Given the depth and breadth of his NFL experience, Fox’s connections around the league are deep. He has a proven track record of hiring quality assistants. Potential DC candidates.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin on where the Bears should be looking at for an OC.

Bears GM-coach hiring timeline - Phil Thompson: Less than three weeks ago, Marc Trestman and Phil Emery presided over the Bears' last game of the 2014 season. So much has changed since then.

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright: Bears hired John Fox to get the team back to a hard-nosed style of play.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Bears hire John Fox as new head coach.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - More on the Bears landing John Fox.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - What Moon Mullin likes about the John Fox hire.

[Video] - Adam Jahns talks Bears' hiring of John Fox.

[Video] ESPN - Mark Dominik, Dan Graziano and Adam Caplan discuss the Bears' hiring of John Fox.

[Video] - Is-Hub Arkush's thoughts on the Bears hiring John Fox as the new head coach.


With Fox's hire, now time to focus on Cutler's future - Michael C. Wright: George McCaskey will leave Jay Cutler’s fate solely up to Ryan Pace and John Fox. But regardless of the conclusion they reach, options regarding Cutler seem limited.

Bears mailbag - Michael C. Wright on recruiting Suh, John Fox, Ryan Pace, the 3-4 defense, and locker room chemistry.

Polish sausage

What goes on in an NFL scouting department? - Greg Gabriel offers a look behind the scenes: While many of the Network draft analysts are already doing mock drafts, the reality is, NFL clubs aren’t close to putting together a final board.

Jack Bechta: The Agent's Journal - What do the final four teams have that many don’t? System offenses, mobile QBs (Tom Brady aside), good scouting, and chemistry.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Brad Gagnon: No team is more dominant at home than the Seahawks, but never doubt Aaron Rodgers, even with that injured calf. Here are 15 keys to the Packers-Seahawks NFC title tilt ... Paul Imig: Packers wary of Beast Mode.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky, Terry Blount: No surprise that Packers, Seahawks reached NFCCG, but the way they got here was a rocky road ... How Capers, McCarthy fixed Packers' D ... Julius Peppers' best (and maybe last) shot ... Jason B. Hirschhorn: How the Packers have changed over this season.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Chris Wesseling: Packers O-line obsessed with 'Settlers of Catan' board game [Interteam rivalry aside, it's a good game - Den] ... Jared Dubin: Packers as Avengers [I may be biased, but David Taylor did it better - Den].

Know thy enemy: Vikings - (Fox Sports): Citing added costs and delayed construction time, the new Vikings stadium will not install a special kind of glass that would have theoretically allowed it to be less of a bird death trap.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Dave Dye: Two years ago, Reggie Bush was the prize free-agent catch for the Lions. Now he's coming off an unproductive, injury-plagued season and is turning 30, which has led to speculation he might be a cap-casualty candidate.

Cheerleaders - The best of the divisional round from and (perennial potential future Mrs Spongie ... and, um, her potential future bestest friend) from