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John Fox on the Hot Seat, Part 2

Windy City Gridiron moves on from the question of what to do about John Fox and considers the trickier question about who should the Beloved avoid as their next head coach.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


The Bears are struggling out of the gate, and there is little sign that John Fox’s third year is going to see the franchise turn things around. Some were always skeptical of Fox and others wanted to give him a chance at first, but by now he doesn’t have many supporters among the writers here at Windy City Gridiron.

However, simply getting rid of a struggling coach is not enough. Even fans who applauded the move from Lovie Smith scratched their heads at the hiring of Marc Trestman. Therefore, for Part 2 we are asking who we want the Bears to avoid when choosing the next head coach, should Fox be fired.

Question 2

If you want Fox gone, who do you not want to replace him? In other words, what one realistic candidate that people bring up is the person you most want the Bears avoid? Why?

Jeff Berckes: I don’t want anyone younger than me (I’m 35). That Sean McVay guy for the Rams is an affront to my existence. How dare someone attain life success at such a young age! Seriously though, I’m not a big fan of any defensive minded coach that will want to shift schemes to something fundamentally different than what we’ve currently built. That means anyone who is steadfast in running a 4-3 base scheme that would require flipping the roster back. Specifically, I don’t want Jim Schwartz because I soured on his personality while he was in Detroit. I’m also out on Mike McCoy as by all accounts he was not well suited to the lead role.

Andrew Link: I absolutely do not want any re-tread head coaches. Generally speaking, coaches get fired for a reason. This would include anyone currently employed by a TV network or radio station. I also do not want ANY coach that wants control of the roster and player acquisition. There needs to be multiple voices and consensus on players, not a dictatorship. Most coaches that have that kind of power are mired in mediocrity and I am done with watching that kind of team.

Patti Curl: The most commonly thrown-out name that would worry me is Sean Payton. He has a relationship with Ryan Pace and a Super Bowl ring, but his ego and constant rumors about him possibly being traded/moving on concern me. He also has produced very little over several years with one of the top five quarterbacks in the league. If Trubisky is the next Drew Brees, I want the Bears to be annual playoff contenders, not one-hit wonders. Also, because I like Fangio and the Bears have focused on personnel to fit his 3-4 scheme, I am less interested in a Defensive Coordinator (other than Fangio) who may want to overhaul something that’s on a good course.

Jacob Infante: Jeff Fisher. That is all.

Jack: Looking back to 1987, all but three coaches who guided teams to Super Bowls fit one of the following three categories:

  1. Successful coordinator looking at his first NFL head coaching job
  2. One-time NFL head coach who did not win a Super Bowl
  3. College head coach in first NFL head coaching job

I broke this down in full, here, but I’ll just give you the short version:

  • No former Super Bowl-winning head coaches
  • No head coaches who have already had two other NFL head coaching stops

Robert Zeglinski: Avoid the Saints connection with Sean Payton at all costs. Avoid Jeff Fisher at all costs. Avoid virtually any retread looking for his second or third shot of respectability.

The Bears need new and respected blood at head coach. They need one of the hot shot vaunted coordinators that will almost certainly start popping on the candidates list soon. Guys like Payton and Fisher almost never enjoy new success in their next stops. Not to mention the fact of Fisher being a virtually identical copy of Fox and Payton effectively running the Saints into the ground in the latter half of his career ever since their Super Bowl victory.

No, no. Here, the Bears have to pull out all the stops for someone new on their first NFL head coaching opportunity. A smart and innovative mind with his clock set to the 2017 rigors of professional football.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: I was in for Sean Payton a year ago, but the more I think about it, I think Ryan Pace needs a young, up and comer that he can grow with. I don’t think the game has passed the 53-year-old Payton by, I just think the Bears need fresh blood.

I’m not saying stay away from all retreads, because as evidenced in Oakland, Jack Del Rio is doing pretty good in his second head coaching gig. If there’s a relatively young assistant out there that “failed” as a head coach, but is proving his mettle in his new role, he’s worth looking into.

And don’t forget, arguably the greatest coach of the Super Bowl era couldn’t cut it in his first job running his own team.

Sam: Sean Payton. He’s basically offensive Lovie Smith: Coaches the hell out of offense, a good coach, but can’t figure out the defensive coordinator position and stuck in mediocrity because of either ego, inability to adapt or something else. His whole aura makes me weary as a fan. I also agree with Jeff about not someone that would make wholesale changes to the defensive scheme. I think I tend to lean towards a good coordinator than another retread or failed coach.

Josh: I don’t want to see the roster rebuilt again, and so I’d like to avoid a 4-3 defensive coach, or really any coach who is too inflexible to adjust the system to the players at hand. However, about the only thing that would frustrate me more than going from Lovie Smith to Marc Trestman would be going from John Fox to Jeff Fisher. Please no.

Ken: There are many, many people I don’t want, with Jeff Fisher and Sean Payton heading that list, but if I had to choose ONE person above all it would have to be Fisher. For years I wondered how in the world he convinced the Rams to pay him to coach football.


There is not nearly the same degree of unity on who the Bears should avoid as there was on whether or not to keep John Fox, but there are a few names that seem like potential landmines, namely Payton and Fisher.

Of course, negativity is a lot easier than making productive suggestions. That’s why we will conclude this series with our own recommendations.

Also for your listening pleasure, check out Andrews latest 2:00 Drill podcast!

They do hit on a couple of head coaching topics, plus there’s also a quick Glennon vs Trubisky debate.