Things haven’t been great for the Chicago Bears under John Fox, but they certainly haven’t been excruciatingly embarrassing as they were under Marc Trestman.
At 12-29, it would be easy for players to check out as they did under Trestman, but it appears Fox still has support in the locker room.
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that Bears players know their head coach is under fire and they still have his back. In Jahns’ “Inside The Huddle” column, offensive lineman Kyle Long and wide receiver Josh Bellamy – both of whom have been on the Bears since Fox’s arrival in 2015 – speak out in support of the embattled head coach.
Fox is one of at least nine coaches believed to be on the hot seat entering Week 11. To be fair, that list can shrink or grow any number of times between now and when the regular season ends.
Bellamy said any finger-pointing shouldn’t be directed at the coach.
“He’s giving everything he’s got. It’s on the players,” Bellamy told Jahns. “He’s not going out there playing the game. He’s just the coach. It’s on the players to change everything. You can’t point the finger in the direction of coach Fox.”
Meanwhile, Long clearly sees the writing on the wall.
“I know what it’s like when the outside’s turning on you on the inside,” Long said in Jahns’ piece. “You’ve got to just kind of circle the wagons. That’s kind of the spot we’ve been in the last few years, unfortunately.”
Long has the unique perspective of being along for the ride for the regimes of both Fox and Trestman. If anyone knows what it’s like inside a lost locker room, it’s Long.
Odds are against the Bears winning out, so how players play down the stretch could say a lot about their respect levels for Fox. Because until Fox loses the locker room, players are going to support a coach who they think is giving them the best chance to win.
Unless something unforeseen occurs, Fox will avoid being compared to Trestman despite owning a lowly .293 winning percentage. For Fox, that might be as good as it gets because the Trestman years were unthinkably bad on so many levels.
Lance Briggs skipped practice to open a barbecue joint in Sacramento. Lamarr Houston tore his ACL while celebrating a sack when the team was on the wrong side of a lopsided loss. Brandon Marshall’s locker room beefs and constant finger-pointing. Martellus Bennett’s suspension after fighting with rookie Kyle Fuller in training camp. Benching Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen, only to go back to Cutler one game later. Making Jay Ratliff a captain for the final game of the season after being asked by coaches to leave practice. Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer dry snitching and airing the team’s dirty laundry by an offensive coordinator to a media member.
We could go on, but won’t. You’re welcome.