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Despite John Fox’s history, 8-8 sounds right for these Bears

Bears coach John Fox, who helped turn around the Panthers and the Broncos, hopes to do the same this season with the Bears. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

I don’t think I’m caving in to the hype that accompanies every Bears training camp, but it looks like the team won’t stop at winning this season’s Super Bowl. We’re talking a dynasty, statues outside Soldier Field and sainthood for John Fox.

Kidding. Kid-ding.

No Chicago team brings out more optimism and more inches of newspaper stories than the Bears before the beginning of a season. It’s not just that we write about how intense the battle for the third-string cornerback job figures to be, and it’s not just that we know you’ll read every word of it. It’s that you’ll argue that the competition for the backup left guard spot will be much more intense and entertaining.

The Bears went 6-10 last season in Fox’s debut in Chicago, a slight improvement from their 5-11 finish the season before. The optimism comes in large part from Fox’s history. He’s a turnaround artist. The Panthers went 7-9 in his first season in Carolina and played in the Super Bowl the next. The Broncos went 8-8 in his first season in Denver, went 13-3 the next and played in the Super Bowl the following year.

So you can see why some of the more exuberant Bears fans are wondering what the weather is like in Houston, site of Super Bowl LI, in February.

My optimism stops at 8-8, and even with that, I wonder if I’m not Charlie Brown about to attempt a field goal.

The defense should be better with the additions of Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman inside, meaning defensive coordinator Vic Fangio should be able to have a bigger effect on games. But the offense decided against bringing back running back Matt Forte, and last year’s first-round pick, wide receiver Kevin White, is still a big unknown after sitting out the season with a leg injury.

Jay Cutler is a big known.

No, I see 8-8, and, even then, I’m questioning my eyesight.