John Fox is on his way to being the worst coach in Chicago Bears history … and it has nothing to do with our feelings regarding his handling of the team’s current quarterback situation.
Dan Cahill of the Chicago Sun-Times writes Fox is on pace to become the least successful coach in team history, statistically speaking. The Bears are 10-26 since Fox took over, and his .278 winning percentage is dangerously close to passing that of Abe Gibron. Chicago was led by Gibron from 1972 to 1974, a three year stretch in which the team won at a .274 clip. That’s not the kind of company you want to keep as Bears head coach, even if your team is going through a rebuild.
Gibron’s three-year record was 11-30-1, and Fox could be reaching those depths soon if his team doesn’t turn it around quickly.
- Of course, there is more to Fox’s early season woes than quarterback play. Chris Boden of Pro Football Weekly discusses the other things haunting the Bears. Fox wasn’t wrong in suggesting there was plenty of blame to toss around after Thursday’s loss, and all one has to do is look in the trenches where things went poorly quickly and often for Chicago.
- The offensive line that was supposed to be a strength coming into the season played together for the first time since Week 10 in 2016 … but committed five of the team’s eight penalties. A defensive front seven that was missing only one starter was only able to bring down Aaron Rodgers once despite the Packers piecing together a starting offensive line without its two starting tackles. Skill position players get the highlights and the biggest of the big money contracts, but losing the battle up front is what dictates the ballgame. The Bears weren’t competitive up front and everyone else’s production took a hit.
- The 11 takeaways from Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times also offers up explanations for another Bears’ lopsided loss. Among them, Fox and his staff getting out-coached by Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay game planners. The Packers adjusted for life without their starting tackles by committing to an early rushing attack and quick passes to keep Rodgers out of harms way. Defensively, Green Bay made the kind of adjustment to defend the Bears’ running game the Steelers couldn’t and didn’t. Man coverage on Bears backs limited their operating space and kept Glennon from boosting his stats with quick tosses and the backs doing the bulk of the work with yards after the catch.
- And while it was surprising to see Glennon throw the ball deep for a change, Jahns notes the Bears’ best big play receiving option is currently on the practice squad. At some point, the rebuilding Bears have to give more younger players an open audition on Sunday’s … right?
- The average age of the four active receivers on the Bears roster is 27.5, which serves as a reminder the team missed a golden opportunity to improve at the position in the draft. While GM Ryan Pace drafted early contributors such as running back Tarik Cohen and safety Eddie Jackson, not addressing the receiver position is looming large. Meanwhile, second-round tight end Adam Shaheen was supposed to be a pass-catching threat. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t received many chances to prove his worth as a receiver. Shaheen has played just seven of the team’s 159 passing snaps in 2017, which comes out to just 4.4 percent of the team’s pass plays.
- Perhaps the Bears should try the
WildCatWild Cutty offense:
Jay Cutler heading out wide in the wildcat like "dooooooooon't caaaaaaaaare." pic.twitter.com/8lLZY3egqQ
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) October 1, 2017
- In case you missed it, the NFL suspended linebacker Danny Trevathan two games for his hit that sent Packers receiver Davante Adams to the hospital. However, Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times believed the suspension should have been longer. Prior to the announcement, Potash wrote Trevathan should have received a six-game suspension – two games for the hit and four in an attempt to show the NFL is serious about not tolerating dangerous helmet-to-helmet hits. It would have been quite the message sent by the NFL had they gone that route, but attempting to legislate safety into a game that is violent by nature is a slippery slope and near impossible to do. However, I understand the sentiment.
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Trevathan will appeal the suspension, while The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain notes Trevathan is a first-time offender and doesn’t have any fines on his record. Odds are Trevathan will get a game knocked off and he’ll be back for the team’s Week 6 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
- Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports some good news regarding Adams’ recovery.
- Joe Tiller, Purdue’s all-time winningest coach, passed away on Saturday. Tiller is a Big Ten legend who unleashed the spread offense to a league long-known for its ground-and-pound game. He went 87-62 in his 12 seasons leading the Boilermakers, winning eight games in his seasons. Tiller’s Purdue teams produced a slew of NFL talent, including a handful of ex-Bears such as quarterback Kyle Orton and linebacker Rosevelt Colvin.