Still Bears coach, John Fox said he didn’t consider staff changes
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
John Fox hasn’t gotten any assurances from general manager Ryan Pace that he’ll finish the season as the Bears’ coach. Then again, he hasn’t asked.
“I’m doing everything in our power to put the best product on the field day-to-day, week-to- week,” Fox said Monday. “I control what I can control, and that’s what I can control.”
The fact that his key card still worked Monday — after the season’s lowest point, a 15-14 home loss to the one-win 49ers — is a sign that the Bears’ brass is hesitant to make Fox the first coach in franchise history to lose his job during the season. Chairman George McCaskey said before the season everyone would be evaluated at the end of the year.
On Monday, the Giants made Ben McAdoo — who had more wins with his team, in one fewer season, than Fox does with the Bears — the first coach to be fired this season. They dismissed GM Jerry Reese, too, a fate that still seems unlikely for Pace.
Asked about the final four games of a lost season, Fox inadvertently stumbled upon the reason why the Bears figure to make a change at the end of it.
“Every time we go out there, it’s our résumé — whether you’re a player or a coach, assistant coach — for the world to see,” he said. “You take pride in that. The guys that are professionals do. I think that’s what drives all of us.”
After taking the Panthers and Broncos to the Super Bowl, Fox’s résumé is mathematically the worst in Bears history. He has won 27.3 percent of his games with the Bears, one-tenth of a percentage point below Abe Gibron, who won 27.4 percent of his games from 1972 to ’74.
The Bears have lost five straight for the first time since Marc Trestman lost his final five games as coach in 2014. Cornerback Kyle Fuller, who was on that team, was asked if the mood is different than that season.
“You know, I guess, somebody would say it’s not because we’re in the same position,” he said. “I definitely feel good about the way that we just grind out the rest of the season.”
Fox said he hasn’t been tempted to make staff changes in recent weeks — “That’s not been productive for me in the past,” he said — and was vague when asked specifically about offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains’ performance.
“Any time you bring in new quarterbacks — again, we all have to answer that, and we’re all big boys, and we get it,” Fox said. “I’d like to have been more productive offensively, but the reality is we’re kind of where we are.”
He implied Loggains has had the added difficulty of playing a rookie quarterback but said he was pleased with Mitch Trubisky’s improvement. Asked whether his team has hit a wall, he argued that Trubisky and Tarik Cohen “played as well as anybody out there” but called injuries to vets a reality.
“I understand the angst, and you know the frustration because we feel it,” he said. “You know these guys are working hard, we’re working hard. I think I know our fans want it.”
What’s left to play for?
“People remember what you do in December,” he said.
Under Fox, the Bears have gone 2-7 in December — and counting.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.