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John Fox says Bears are ‘closer than people think’

Former Bears head coach John Fox says he "inherited a mess." | AP

While things didn’t work out for John Fox in the won-loss column during his three years in Chicago, the former Bears coach believes the franchise is in a much better position now than when he arrived.

Known as a turnaround-guy, Fox won just 14 games in his three seasons but told NBC Sports Chicago he “inherited a mess” from previous coach Marc Trestman.

From NBC Sports Chicago:

“I do think it’s closer than people think. We inherited a mess … but I felt we were on the brink at the end. I think that [Halas Hall] building is definitely different; they feel it. I do think that it was a positive.”

Under Fox, the Bears were never able to climb out of last place in the NFC North and went 1-5 against the rival Green Bay Packers.

“You wish some things would’ve happened differently obviously,” Fox said, “but there was a lot positive that happened.”

Though the defense showed improvements under Fox, the Bears opted to move on from the 63-year-old coach and go with a more offensive-minded leader in 39-year-old Matt Nagy, who they hope can nurture and develop second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

To Fox’s point, Nagy has retained much of the defensive coaching staff.

“It would’ve been nice to see it through,” Fox told NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s kind of a bitter pill but you sort things out and move forward.”