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Here’s why John Fox shouldn’t be hired

The Bears have interviewed Dan Quinn, Adam Gase, Todd Bowles and Teryl Austin for their coaching opening.

All fine candidates, and all are being pursued by multiple teams. And Bowles and Quinn are probably the hottest candidates out there.

Yet all the buzz everywhere you turn in Chicago is about the Bears’ reported interest and plans to hire John Fox.

I just don’t get it.

Most of what you hear is that with the youth and inexperience of general manager Ryan Pace, the Bears need an experienced hand with a proven track record in the coach’s spot to guide the team and help guide their young GM. That makes absolutely no sense.

If the Bears hired Pace thinking he wasn’t quite ready and needed a mentor to train him, then it’s a really bad hire. Either he’s your guy or he isn’t. Not to mention, it has been made absolutely clear that Pace has full control of the football operation and final say over the coach, and that the coach will report to him.

In what universe do employees teach and tell their bosses what to do?

Even if you disagree and think the coach must be a mentor for Pace, why would you hire Fox over Mike Shanahan?

Who wouldn’t have won 38 games the last three seasons in Denver with Peyton Manning and all the talent they surrounded him with?

I know, besides Marc Trestman.

Fox was a .500 coach coming out of Carolina and 2-14 in his last season there.

Fox and Shanahan are around the same age (Shanahan is actually 62, and Fox will be 60 in a few weeks), and Shanahan is much more accomplished with 40 more wins than Fox and two Super Bowl rings to Fox’s none.

What am I missing?

I guess it doesn’t matter because what really bothers me is the whole concept of wanting a coach with experience over a fresh face to help give a fresh start to this moribund franchise.

The most exciting thing about Pace’s arrival is his youth, the newness of everything around him and the clean break from all the frustrations of the last 25-plus years.

A coach who already has failed twice and was just fired casts a pall over all of that. Yet nothing I’ve said so far is my biggest concern.

I once heard a very wise young man say the most important relationship on an NFL team is the one between the general manager and the coach.

I don’t understand how creating a pair separated by two generations is going to create a great friendship, and I don’t see how it engenders a great working relationship.

What will Fox and the 37-year-old Pace have in common besides football?

Is Pace looking for a second father and Fox adopting another son?

What’s going to happen the first time the young buck has to tell the wizened old coach he’s wrong and he’s going to do it his way?

And what happens if that starts to happen a lot?

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m sure Fox is a fine coach, and I’m not saying he’d be a bad hire. He would be a quantum leap from the Trestman regime, and I have no doubt the Bears would show immediate improvement on defense.

My problem is that I just can’t see any way he’d be the best hire, and it seems obvious to me that a Pace pairing with Quinn makes a lot more sense.

But no matter who it is, including Fox, as long as we can believe it was Pace’s clear choice, I’ll be fine with it.

But I can’t escape the feeling that he’s being talked into Fox rather than seeking out his own man.


Hub Arkush is the editor of Chicago Football.