After the 2014 season, the Chicago Bears franchise was in desperate need of an enema.
There were no positives to be gleaned after a disastrous and embarrassing five win season. In my time as a fan, I've seen other Bears teams with five or fewer wins, but I've never seen a team as dysfunctionally bad, from top to bottom, as the 2014 Chicago Bears.
There were locker room issues with the players and coaches. The defense was historically bad. The offense suffered from trust issues. Players seemed to quit during games. Accountability was lacking and the overall vibe the franchise gave off made it the laughing stock of the NFL.
Bears Chairman George McCaskey had no choice but to blow the organization up and start over. General manager Phil Emery, head coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer were all fired.
Ryan Pace was hired as the new GM and his first task was finding the right man to lead his football team. Through a fortunate set of circumstances, he was able to snag the perfect coach to take over the franchise.
John Fox is the right coach at the right time for the Bears.
After last year, the Bears needed an experienced and credible voice in that locker room. Sure the Bears could have gone with a young and eager assistant, but that wouldn't have guaranteed a steady hand to run the team.
The Chicago Bears are in need of a rebuild and Fox has already done that twice. He took over a 1-15 Carolina team that allowed the most yards in the NFL and and made them a respectable 7-9, while helping to guide the defense to 2nd best in yards allowed in 2002. By 2003 he had the Panthers in the Super Bowl.
In 2011, Fox inherited a Denver team that was coming off a 4-12 record. He helped them improve by four wins, they were the AFC West Champs and they won a playoff game. He had the Broncos in the Super Bowl by 2013.
While it's true he came out on the losing end of all 3 Super Bowls he coached in (he was the defensive coordinator for the 2000 New York Giants), you can't deny his overall success during his 26 years coaching in the NFL. You can try to downplay his overall 119-89 record by claiming much of that was pumped up because of Peyton Manning, but don't forget he had some success with quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and Tim Tebow.
John Fox has the confidence in himself and in his vision that he can properly delegate responsibility among his assistants. He's a hands on coach, but he also allows his coordinators to thrive. In fact, Fox has had a part in developing his fair share of "hot assistant coaching candidates" through the years.
During Fox's first head coaching gig, Carolina in 2002, his defensive coordinator was Jack Del Rio. In 2003 the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Del Rio away to serve as their head coach. Dennis Allen was Fox's first defensive coordinator in Denver (2011), then the following year, the Oakland Raiders hired Allen to be their head coach.
Del Rio returned to work as Fox's defensive coordinator following Allen's departure (2012), but after three successful years, the Raiders hired him to take over as head coach. Mike McCoy was Fox's first offensive coordinator with the Broncos (from '11-'12), then in 2013, he was hired away to become head coach of the San Diego Chargers.
Last year, Adam Gase was one of the hottest assistant coaches making the head coaching interview circuit, but as fate would have it, he ends up back with Fox in Chicago. I would imagine Gase is running his own team by 2017 at the latest.
Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is also on the short list of potential future head coaching candidates. If he's able to turn the Bears' D around after the mess of 2014, his stay in Chicago could be short too.
Just think about the differences in the top three Bears coaches from one year ago. Marc Trestman to John Fox, Aaron Kromer to Adam Gase and Mel Tucker to Vic Fangio. I think you could make a really good argument that the Bears have one of the best the best coaching staffs in the NFL.
The 60 year old Fox may not be able to turn the Bears around as quickly as in his previous two stops, but he sure as Hell will bring respectability back to a franchise that so desperately needs it.