John Fox has good things to say about final coaching staff moves

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John Fox. (AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — New Bears receivers coach Zach Azzanni interviews well. In fact, he blew away coach John Fox.

“It was as good of a wide receiver interview as I have ever seen,” Fox said in his first comments about his final coaching-staff additions Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Azzanni, who was hired last week, takes over a receiver group in flux. Alshon Jeffery is testing free agency, and Kevin White is returning from his second surgery on his left leg in two seasons.

But Fox said he sees an “outstanding teacher” in Azzanni, who spent 18 years coaching at the college level, including stints at Tennessee, Wisconsin and Florida. He also coached Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan.

“He’s had a lot of good, young talent, both in identifying it and motivating them to be better,” Fox said. “He’s got a pretty good track record of that.”

Getting defensive

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is still in charge of the outside linebackers, but the Bears wanted to give him some help.

Fox said that’s why the team hired Brandon Staley, the Division III coordinator of the year at John Carroll in 2016. Staley was John Carroll’s defensive coordinator/secondary coach for three seasons.

“There [are] still duties that [Fangio] has to do that are time-consuming that it helps when you have a younger coach,” Fox said.

Fox described Staley’s responsibilities as similar to what Clint Hurtt handled. One important task was developing pass-rush plans every week.

Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.


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