While everyone on the Bears beat around town is calling for Fox’s head on a platter right F-ing now, professional’s have to let cooler heads prevail, or at least think about, or delay the inevitable. Look, I could see the beat down at the hands of the Eagles coming a mile away, that’s why I didn’t even watch the game. The Eagles had won 8 in a row, they were at home, the Bears have one road win since the end of 2015, they lost to Brett Hundley, the Bears offensive coordinator is Dowell Loggains, do you see where i’m going with this?
To quote Hillary Clinton, “What difference does this make now?” -at the Benghazi hearings
Of course I’m being facetious.
Those lives lost in Benghazi mattered, at least to me they did. Countries have gone to war over dead diplomats.
This loss, which to me was inevitable, counts. It goes in the record books on the wrong side of the ledger, if you are John Fox.
I… am John Fox. I have to admit that there are times in my own life, I have felt like John Fox, even recently. The feeling of being powerless, being captive by forces that you can’t control, the feeling of being dragged through and endless amount of shit, feeling like a loser…
At least I’ve never had to step in front of a microphone at Halas Hall and take question after questions and defend my life decisions from trolls, orcs and goblins. Otherwise known as the Sun-times, the Tribune and bloggers. Hmmm.
I personally feel like I’m a pretty good judge of character, and everything I’ve read or seen about John Fox over the last 25 years, tells me he is a good man who makes good decisions. If I were to judge him on the article written by David Haugh in the Tribune, it would be a mistake. Haugh wrote that the Bears performance was the most embarrassing of his tenure and he should be fired immediately! Even though no coach of the Bears had EVER been fired mid-season, we should start with Fox, show him the door and promote defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the head coaching job.
First of all, for all of my recent criticism of the McCaskey family, I feel confident that they would not pull the trigger on a classless move such as this. They are angry I’m sure, and will be angrier, when, possibly 20,000 people don’t show up to this weeks game against the lowly 49er’s.
Second of all, after watching the Eagles game on my dvr, I thought the Bears put forth a pretty good effort. They played hard, they were physical, but they were just overmatched. They may have been baited, or out-coached in a couple areas, special teams for one, but the overall effort was good, this team has not quit on Fox.
There is some youth and inexperience that is getting exposed at key times, especially in regards to field position. That is to be expected, when young players possibly try, too hard, to make a play. Tarik Cohen has not mastered the art of when to return punts and kickoffs, and when to settle for a touchback, which would give the Bears the ball at the 20 yard line. It didn’t help that when Cohen made poor decisions, his teammates did as well, by committing penalties that backed up the Bears even further, near their own endzone.
As a result, the defense was defending short fields, sometimes very short, after punter Pat O’Donnell got one kick partially blocked, with his heels against the end line of the endzone. The Eagles only had to drive 32 yards for their 2nd touchdown. Which brings me to the other point of Haugh’s article. The promotion of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
As I have stated in recent articles. The biggest and most recent of disappointments for the Bears this year and in previous seasons, I believe, has been bad performances by the defense at exactly the worst times possible, for Fox and Bears nation. How else do you explain, completely shutting down All Pro quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, when you are a huge underdog. And then getting handled by Brett freaking Hundley in what, the third start of his career? When the Bears were more than a touchdown favorite in Vegas. And by the way, Hundley and the Packers were shutout by the Ravens, the week after their Bears victory. The Bears beat Baltimore few weeks prior to get their first road win since 2015.
Which defense is it Vic?
In the upside down world of the NFL, the Bears defense couldn’t be faulted for their overall effort against the Eagles though. Like I said, they played hard but were overmatched. They have simply had too many injuries to the linebacking unit of the defense . They are not getting enough pressure on the quarterback as of result of missing player’s like Danny Trevaithan, Willie Young, Jerrell Freeman, Leonard Floyd, John Timu and having Nick Kwiatkowski miss several weeks in the middle of the season. That’s a lot to miss in one unit that is the heart of the defense. Things could possibly be helped, by gambling and calling for more blitzes, but Fangio predictably play’s things conservative, and that’s a problem.
The Bears have long had a streak of coaches who don’t adjust and read game situations for what they are. When your down by 20 points, your desperate, why not play like it and be less predictable. Not wanting to lose by 40 is no excuse. There are times when a group of players must take it upon themselves to at least attempt to right some wrongs. We saw it earlier in the year, when the Bears beat Carolina and Baltimore, by scoring more on defense and special teams, than on offense. Why can’t they do it when it counts against the Packers after a bye week? So frustrating.
So Haugh’s solution is to promote someone who doesn’t adapt, change, listen or read the tea leaves. I get it, were all frustrated, the Bears have been so close this year. The talk is that Fox isn’t the guy to develop Trubisky. So many people are saying it, has to be true right? The one area that Fox has probably gone wrong is, choosing offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
As I first mentioned in my previous article, I would give quarterback’s coach Dave Ragone a shot to call plays. He has been an NFL quarterback after being a successful enough in college to be drafted in the third round in 2003. I’m not saying this guy is going to be awesome. I’m saying let’s see what we have. It would be a shame if Ragone got his first shot a couple years from now, on a different team, and he was good at it.
The whispers around Halas Hall are getting louder. The press is trying to light a fire around Fox’s feet. They are aggressively trying to fan this fire and get the Bears to start over. Fox, I would guess, is not oblivious to this. But I think he is a class act. He has said this week, that the last three years has been the biggest challenge of his career. But he loves the tradition, the passion that surrounds this franchise and it drives him to work harder, to see his mission through to completion, of turning the Bears around.
When the man says he is hard at work, I believe him. It hasn’t been widely talked about or noticed, but after half of the Bears losses this year, there has been roster turnover days later. What I really mean is that players have been getting fired, and it’s mostly been wide receivers getting shown the door. This week was no different. Sure Tre McBride made a few catches here in the five weeks or so he was with the team. But in the last two weeks there have been lapses in run blocking down field, and penalties that have stalled drives at critical times during the game. This is called accountability. Fox has it and he is showing it to his team on a weekly basis.
He has said they are constantly evaluating the roster and there is no reason to doubt him or his effort. The only doubt is named Dowell. If Fox continues to go with Loggains, and his lack of improvement, then he must be shown the door, the day after the season ends. Maybe Fox thinks to replace his protege during the season is distasteful, and he wouldn’t want to disrespect the young man, who is in his third go around as an offensive coordinator. He coordinated for failed regimes in Tennessee and Cleveland before joining Fox’s staff as the quarterbacks coach, under coordinator Adam Gase, who became the head coach in Miami two seasons ago.
Fox’s loyalty, his command of the team and referring to his current vocation with the Bears as an endeavor, has an almost militaristic point of view. He balances this attitude by being a players coach, someone who cares for the players and wanting them to succeed. Bears players in turn, have been defending him all season, and saying how much they love him, which makes some of the performances all the more baffling. But, having watched football my whole life, I remember Mike Ditka talking about the type of people you need to surround yourself with, in order to be successful. He called them foxhole guys. Someone you would want next to you during a battle. Someone who has character, loyalty, strong convictions, and most of all your back. I hope that Loggains, Fangio, and several players appreciate what Fox has been doing for all of them, the last three seasons. He’s had their back’s, time for them to reciprocate next week against San Francisco and every week til he’s gone. Which, if the press has their way, will be much sooner than later. There are people all around us who need to lose their jobs, it’s not something i would wish onto someone, but it has to be the right people and not the good ones.