The Bears moved to 2-4 last Sunday with their first road win of the season, breaking a ten game road losing streak. They did it by committing to running the ball and game managing their rookie quarterback. That they were able to do it with their play calling is a sure sign that John Fox has taken ownership of his team and is deciding what to do and when.
After the embarrassing loss to the Packers three weeks ago, Fox announced that there would be changes. He made the decision to change the quarterback, cut and demoted wide receivers, has gambled successfully on special teams, and it appears he has even ordered some blitzes on 3rd downs to help get the defense off the field.
Coming off of a very close loss to the Vikings, 20-17, which all but ended on a Trubisky interception and was the second of two turnovers for the rookie quarterback on drop backs. The Bears finally got off the bus running against Baltimore, rushing 54 times and attempting to throw it only 17 times. The result was a record day for rushing yards against the Raven’s defense, with the Bears pilling up 231 net yards on over 4 yards per carry. Against the Vikings, the Bears attempted 29 passes to 26 rushes. They completed only 12 passes to Bears receivers on those 29 drop backs. The Bears still rushed for 4 yards per carry, 115 total yards, against the Vikings. They lost the ball control battle against the Vikings by two minutes.
Now I’m just speculating here, but given those statistics, I would say that John Fox basically gave offensive coordinator Dowel Loggains, the mandate to rush the freaking ball down the Ravens throat’s. And he probably did so with language a good deal rougher than that. Just from an observational point of view, Loggains looks like Fox’s son on the sideline. Following him around and looking at him after play calls for either an approving nod, a pat on the back or a fist bump. I also witnessed him in the Bears first pre-season game giving a running chest bump to Trubisky, when Trubisky threw his first touchdown pass. Loggains ran at least 20 yards ONTO the field to give Trubisky his man love. Unprofessional and tacky to say the least, when the starting quarterback was on the sideline with the first team offense.
So this week at Halas Hall, at the mid-week press conference, when it was noted to Loggains, that Trubisky threw only two completions of any consequence. Loggains was asked what the Bears need to do to get Mitchell to improve into an NFL quarterback, his response, “Throw the ball.” That’s it! Mad genius that guy. It was like a mini temper tantrum by the kid who’s dad is the head coach and won’t let him throw the ball. What a douche! Someone tell Dowel that the Bears won the game, and probably would’ve beaten the Vikings if they had tried a similar game plan. Later during the presser, Loggains admitted that as offensive coordinator he would prefer to throw the ball. No duh.
The fact that John Fox is on the hot seat isn’t a secret. He has one year left on his contract and little time and healthy bodies, to show improvement this year. That is why I believe he has taken more control behind the scenes and is delegating less. He know this could be his last year and his last gig as a head coach, with his age and history of health issues. In the balance hangs his legacy within the NFL. He has won Super Bowls as Bill Parcell’s defensive coordinator and taken two teams to the Super Bowl. His time spent with the Bears is undermining his legacy as a future Hall-of-Fame coach. Want to know how much it matters to him… stay tuned.
I say the man will pull any lever necessary to get the Bears in smelling distance of the playoffs. The Bears lost 2 games where they controlled their destiny with two minutes to go, seconds against Atlanta. They are that close to 4-2 and a top a division without Aaron Rodgers. Fox will be selling that point every week. And here is one more thing to consider. No team in the history of the NFL has ever faced quarterback’s that have either been in the Super Bowl or have been number one overall picks, for 6 straight weeks (Ryan, Winston, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Bradford and Flacco). This week Cam Newton makes it 7 and next week Drew Brees makes it 8. The second half schedule gets easier. I stand by my call of 9-7, I thought a 3-5 start would lead to a 6-2 finish, coordinators be damned.
Sometimes a head coach has to get more hands on, I believe that is what Fox will do, as the only real football brain in Halas Hall.
Watch the Baltimore Ravens for the rest of the year. You could argue head coach John Harbaugh is in the same position as Fox. He hasn’t taken control yet, but he will, very shortly. Offensive coordinator Marty Morninweg’s game plan against the Bears was awful, the worst I’ve seen all year. They should’ve pounded the Bears with their run game. They didn’t and that’s why they lost.