Bears mailbag: Is this John Fox’s last game? Who takes his place?

SHARE Bears mailbag: Is this John Fox’s last game? Who takes his place?
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John Fox is entering what is likely to be his last week as the Bears’ head coach. (AP)

TheSun-Times’expertscan answer yourBearsquestions all week onTwitter. Here’s a sampling of queries sent to @patrickfinley, who responds with more than 280 characters:

The person who convinces the Bears he’s the best coach to transform Mitch Trubisky from an intriguing quarterback prospect into the face of the franchise. That’s probably a current offensive coordinator. The Patriots’ Josh McDaniels, the Eagles’ Frank Reich (or quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo) and the Saints’ Pete Carmichael are logical starting points. Remember, too, that there are always sitting head coaches who are surprise firings and wind up landing jobs. That’s how the Bears hired John Fox three years ago, after all.

You’re cutting a player for dropping a touchdown pass? There’s a reason most teams don’t operate that way: They don’t want to lose talent just to prove some grand point to the other 52 guys on the roster.

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As for Fox, Bears chairman George McCaskey has said all along he’d be evaluated at the end of the year. If the Bears had a more logical interim on their staff, though, I think he might have gotten the ax after the loss to the 49ers.

I don’t. You’re referring to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Sunday that said Phillips, the Bears’ president and CEO, is doing his homework on potential head-coaching candidates. Let’s be clear about this: As long as Ryan Pace is the team’s GM and the Bears’ organizational structure stays the same, he’ll be the one selecting the next head coach.

You’re right in that the Bears haven’t quit. For all the critiques of Fox — many of them deserved — he knows how to manage a professional locker room. Three years after the circus that was Marc Trestman’s final season, the Bears don’t resemble the dysfunctional mess Fox inherited. But they’re not a good team. Fox has won only three NFC North games in three seasons. I think the Bears will part with Fox. Look at it this way: If Fox stays for the final year of his contract and makes changes to his staff, what offensive coordinator would come here facing the potential of a one-and-done? If Pace keeps Fox and the team underperforms next year, then Pace would be fired, too. Those are two good reasons for Pace to make a change.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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