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Bears Make the Most of a Weak Coaching Class

The hiring of John Fox doesn't signal guaranteed success, but the Bears seized their moment of opportunity for a proven NFL coach.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears' hiring of John Fox as head coach on Friday was met with a large variety of responses, ranging from disappointment to excitement to a fair amount of "Enh." When the possibility started trickling out, my own reaction was a general lack of thrill.

But that's okay, because the coaching class this year wasn't a very exciting one, especially once Rex Ryan was all but committed to Buffalo. Added to that, the Bears may not have been in the best position to hire a more "exciting" possibility.

John Fox offers the Bears a safe, generally proven option that suddenly came available, and in a class of coaches that didn't have a surefire answer. Gary Kubiak told the entire NFL no (until the Broncos came available and asked about him anyway). The Bears weren't interested in talking to Rex Ryan, who already committed to Buffalo before Fox became available. So that basically left Doug Marrone and a slew of coordinator candidates.

And given the Bills' offense under Marrone, that one wasn't exactly the most exciting either.

So that left a bunch of coordinators that would have been a first-time head coach, as well as a fair amount of flaws on each. Well-respected coordinators mostly, to be sure, but not a lot of certainty that they could get the job done.

Maybe Todd Bowles, Adam Gase, Teryl Austin and Dan Quinn can all be excellent head coaches. Coaches can also flame out pretty spectacularly though, as well, especially first time head coaches.

The Bears are coming off a season where they can't afford risking a further slide and becoming a further laughingstock than they already were. Which makes the hire of John Fox perfect for their current situation.

Is Fox a guaranteed winner in Chicago? No. But Fox is at least a safer hire with a proven head-coaching record. Even if his ceiling is "occasional division winner with the occasional playoff win," it's more than 13 wins in two seasons and allows the rebuilding of a program. And after all, you have to get to the playoffs to win in the playoffs.

Sure, having Peyton Manning helps win three consecutive division titles and three consecutive seasons of twelve wins, but his Panthers still got to eleven wins three times and only went below seven wins when the bottom completely fell out on his Jimmy Clausen-led squad.

In a year of few guaranteed options, the Bears made the most of what they had available. This hire lets the Bears re-establish themselves and maybe make some more opportunities.