Adam L. Jahns’ “Read Options” column appears in Pro Football Weekly, which is available Thursday or Friday in the Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Herald, Rockford Register Star, Northwest Herald, Kankakee Daily Journal, Peoria Journal Star and on ProFootballWeekly.com.
It was a dance party, and John Fox busted a move.
The Bears’ locker room at Lambeau Field had come alive following their 17-14 win against the Green Bay Packers last season. They had just ruined Brett Favre Night on Thanksgiving on national television.
Receiver Josh Bellamy took care of the music, blasting Young Jeezy’s “Win.” Players danced, and Fox jumped in. Some players said then that they saw Fox “dabbing,” though there was no visual proof of him taking part in the craze popularized in the NFL by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
But the videos that Bears players shared on social media definitely captured “Foxy” jumping about and sharing in their chants. It was a moment that deeply resonated with the players, who took personal offense to being picked for Favre’s homecoming.
It undoubtedly went down as the highlight of Fox’s first season. Even though the Bears lost their next three games, beating the Packers on their home field said that good days could be coming under Fox.
It was more than just a feel-good moment. It offered hope a season after Marc Trestman’s run as coach came to a disastrous, back-stabbing end.
“I remember it was Thanksgiving; it was the holiday season,” Fox said this week. “I remember it being a pretty miserable night. It rained all night. But any time you walk out of there with a win, especially being on the road against a division team, it makes it worth all the effort.”
But the same won’t apply this season. Not when the Bears are 1-5 and have a long list of injured players.
Sure, there might be some hopeful feelings that come about following a win. Beating the Packers is rare in these parts. The Bears, as a team, certainly need all the good vibes they can get.
But beating the Packers this year at Lambeau Field on Thursday night wouldn’t fully satisfy a restless fanbase. There are too many openly rooting for the highest draft pick that the Bears can get at this point. Too many fans have flipped the page to 2017.
It’s too bad, too.
The Packers have looked pretty ordinary at times this season. Even all-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers has looked human, posting a pedestrian 88.4 passer rating through five games.
“Both teams are different,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think it’s consistent to say that each and every year. It’s never the same.”
Everyone is piling on the Bears these days, even the league’s own website.
In power rankings posted Tuesday, NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison rated the Bears at No. 31, but the insult came in the description.
Harrison previewed the Cubs’ Game 3 matchup against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Game 3 starting pitchers Jake Arrieta and Rich Hill were mentioned.
All the Bears got was this, “Oh, the Bears got beat Sunday by a wide receiver who hadn’t scored a touchdown since 2012.”
Third-year defensive lineman Will Sutton might have finally won over defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. At least, it sounds like it.
It helps Sutton that Fangio said they haven’t been in their base 3-4 defense much lately.
Sutton, the Bears’ third-round pick in 2014, always has been considered a prototypical three-technique tackle in a 4-3 front.
“Will’s done a nice job,” Fangio said. “Will’s got some good football instincts as far as [defensive] line goes. He’s got some quickness. He’s athletic in there. He’s done a nice job upholding his end of the bargain.”