With the bye week, we’re using the Five Questions column for self-examination as we try to figure this team out. Wednesday we discussed Jay Cutler, and today we’re asking the same question about the salty head coach, John Fox.
Jeff Berckes: If Jay Cutler isn't the biggest decision point in the offseason, certainly the future of John Fox and this coaching staff could be. What is your assessment of the Fox regime and, more importantly, do you want to see John Fox on the sidelines in 2017?
Josh Sunderbruch: I’m torn. I’m not thrilled with how Fox has handled things, but I’d love to see some stability. If I had my way, whichever OC is in place in April 2017 will be around in April 2019. If that’s going to be Loggains, fine. Otherwise, whatever shuffling needs to happen should happen before then.
Sam Householder: I touched on this the other day in my observations post. I really like our coordinators. I think Loggains is beginning to come into his own as an OC and Vic Fangio is one of the best in the league. I'm not crazy about John Fox though. He's certainly not terrible but his media dealings and some of the ways he does things drives me nut. That said though, stability is important enough that I give him at least one more year. Perhaps after a season or two he decides to retire any way. He's a good coach though and while status-quo is hardly amazing, the offensive coaching staff is young, the roster is young and Ryan Pace is bringing in good talent, the team should be improving from here on out.
Jack M Silverstein: I'm willing to giving Fox and co. a third year, if only for continuity. But Fox is starting to seem like Uncle Junior in the Sopranos as he slipped into dementia. He's got a track record, sure. But who is he NOW?
Jeff Berckes: I’m suddenly hungry for some gabagool. Anyone willing to endorse John Fox into the future?
EJ Snyder: I think this depends on one thing: the rest of the games this year. If the Bears pull off victories and play hard as they get healthy, Fox gets another year. If they fold down the stretch then Fox is in real jeopardy. I'd vote for continuity and seeing what Fox can do when he doesn't lose his starting: C, QB, RB, WR, NT, ILB, both OLB'S and CB... AT THE SAME TIME. That's just absurd.
Ken Mitchell (aka Sab, aka Den Master): I'm a firm believer that if the Bears were not so riddled with injuries, we would be above .500 and this question would be moot. I'm not a huge John Fox fan or hater, but I don't see him as a major problem. Vic Fangio is a genius, so I definitely want him back. Dowell Loggains called a great game against the Vikings. Right now I am going to give this a "let's see how the season plays out", but against the Vikings and Packers and Lions, I saw a team 100 percent sold out on beating our bitter rivals. That's a sign that the players are buying in.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: I think the numerous injuries to the team makes it hard for Ryan Pace to give a fair assessment on if Fox is the right coach for the future of the franchise, but I do think Fox is the right guy for right now. As for next year, him returning depends on how the team fares these last 8 games. If they improve as they get healthier, I think Fox returning is a no-brainer. If they implode down the stretch, and Fox loses the locker room, then a change has to be made.
Jeff Berckes: Fair enough – let the results on the field speak for themselves and decide from there. What about the other way? Anyone ready to concede this was a bad hire and dip back into the pool?
Robert Zeglinski: I have never been a fan of the John Fox hire. I thought it was safe and completely unimaginative and nothing so far in his tenure has done anything to dissuade me. He is a terrible in game manager and is overly conservative at the worst moments. The best thing he does is bringing in talented coordinators that cover for his mistakes like Vic Fangio and now Dowell Loggains. There are always brilliant minds surrounding him and it puts him on a pedestal. If the Bears go 6-2, 7-1, or possibly even luck themselves into a magical playoff berth, then I want him back. Otherwise, you don't lose progress with a new bright mind in charge.
Steven Schweickert: Not overly thrilled. I'm the last guy to bang the table for firing a coach or a GM, admittedly, but the last six weeks have not been a good look for Fox the teambuilder. If more games look like Monday night's affair of solid defense with scotch tape, shoestring and a two-by-four, and if the offense starts converting some of those deep stalled drives into touchdowns, then maybe there's another couple of building blocks to add to. It would take a surge to get my support for keeping Fox next near and Fox needs to realize where this offense's wagon is hitched.
Let’s recap: No one is particularly happy with John Fox – he inspires about as much inspiration in the fanbase as Shaq in a free throw contest – but the group is mostly in favor of getting the band back together for continuity assuming the second half isn’t a disaster. Overall, this group looks ready for a fresh hire of a mind on the cutting edge, not a tired retread. Maybe someone like Fangio is ready to take the reins if, as some have suggested, Fox is ready to retire in the near future.
If you were Ryan Pace, are you bringing Foxy back for 2017 or diving back into the pool?