As third-term coaches go, don’t expect the world from John Fox

Chicago will be the third city John Fox calls home as an NFL head coach.

Fox previously served as the head coach at Carolina (2002-10) and Denver (2011-14), two teams that collected winning records while he was there.

He has been to two Super Bowls and and made the playoffs seven times in his 13 seasons.

So what should Bears fans expect now that Fox is joining his third team?

To be a head coach so long that you get an opportunity to coach three teams typically means you’re good enough to win games, but not good enough to finish the job.

Of course, that’s not always true. Just ask Bill Parcells, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants. He never went to a Super Bowl, though, with his third or fourth teams.

Here’s a pretty good list of head coaches with three or more teams on their resume (in alphabetical order):

-Pete Carroll

-Chuck Knox

-Bill Parcells

-Wade Phillips

-Dan Reeves

-Marty Schottenheimer

-Mike Shanahan

-Norv Turner

-Dick Vermeil

Carroll and Reeves are the only coaches in the group to bring their third team to a Super Bowl. Reeves, though, brought the Falcons to the big game during his second season in Atlanta while the rest of his tenure there was atrocious.

Carroll, it seems fair to say, is an outlier among this group.

Vermeil went 44-36 with the Chiefs, his third team, in five seasons. He went to the playoffs once and didn’t win a playoff game.

Schottenheimer went 8-8 with the Redskins in 2001 and then 47-33 with the Chargers — his fourth team — and no playoff wins.

Parcells went 29-19 with the Jets along with one playoff trip and one playoff win. He went to the Cowboys after that, went 34-30 and didn’t win a playoff game.

Phillips went 29-19 without a playoff win with the Bills, his third team. He later went 34-22 in four seasons with the Cowboys and won one playoff game.

Starting to see the pattern among these guys?

Knox had two strong seasons at the start of his tenure with the Seahawks, winning three playoff games. He went to the playoffs just twice over the next seven years and didn’t win a playoff game.

Turner had a similar experience in San Diego, winning three playoff games in his first two years and no more over the next four.

These nine coaches went a combined 370-314 (.541 winning percentage) with their third team. That’s not too shabby.

They made the playoffs 24 times in their combined 61 years (as coach of their third teams and beyond). Their combined playoff record is 17-22 with one Super Bowl win.

So what should we expect from Fox?

A record a bit above .500 with one or two early playoff exits seems to be par for the course.

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