We don't want to revisit unpleasant memories, but sometimes to really appreciate what you have in the moment, you have to remember where you came from. This might sound a bit dramatic, but after seeing the coaching staff and locker room dismantled under former head coach Marc Trestman, it's worth noting what John Fox and his coaching staff have done in the short few months they have been in town.
Let's go backwards, though. Prior to Trestman, Lovie Smith was ran the show in Chicago for a decade, and regardless of how you would rank his performances or what frustrations you may have had over his coaching style, one thing was for certain: The Bears players were 100% bought in to Lovie's leadership, and would have run through a brick wall if he'd asked them to. He treated them like men, and to a degree, like his own sons.
All that changed when the Bears hired Marc Testman, who was later reported to have been completely disconnected from the players and the locker room. He'd stand in the corner of meeting rooms, disengaged by the latter part of the season, and would fail to confrint issues that were happening as the team was falling apart.
So when Trestman was let go, along with former GM Phil Emery, they knew they had to figure out a way to get things back on track. They knew they would need a string presence to make that happen. So when new GM Ryan Pace was hired, the timing was perfect for him to meet with John Fox, who had recently left Denver after mutually parting ways with John Elway and the Broncos.
Fox immediately rallied the players around him, and brought in Vic Fangio and Adam Gase with him. All three are NFL veterans, and all three command the respect and attention of the players that they coach.
And in every single interview you see with Chicago Bears players, be it after practice during the week, in post-game press conferences after a win or a loss, one thing is consistent: The players have bought in completely, and love working for Fox and company.
And of course, the biggest tell: They make in-game adjustments, continue to fight even when it looks like they aren't going to be able to pull it off, and never, ever quit fighting until the final whistle has blown. This is John Fox's team now, and he has restored credibility to a franchise that was, just a short year ago, the laughing stock of the NFL. It's a great feeling if you're a Chicago Bears fan.
While we're here, though, we'll leave you with a couple of tweets:
Dear Chicago, if you're smart, you'll fire John Fox and promote Adam Gase. Like, now.— Brad Wells (@BradWellsNFL) November 27, 2015