Ryan Pace deserves a ton of credit for how he’s built and shaped the 2018 NFC North winning Chicago Bears roster, but there’s no denying John Fox’s fingerprints are all over the place.
Fox hired many of the defensive coaches and was a part of the development of young players on what has grown into a top-5 defense. And to his credit, Fox has expressed optimism regarding the 2018 Bears – even after being fired. Fox shared his belief that the Bears were on the cusp of starting a winning trend as early as February, voiced his opinion that the team was a handful of moves away from turning it around when discussing the future in March, and indicated he was a believer in the Bears’ plan moving forward at a time when it would have been easy to have hard feelings about how things ended.
With that as our backdrop, it should come as no surprise that Fox is still dialed in with what’s happening with his former team. In a Q&A with Dan Pompei of The Athletic, Fox talks about his new life as a broadcaster, the Bears’ turnaround season, Mitch Trubisky’s development, and more. And even though Fox isn’t a popular figure among many Bears fans, this is worth your reading time:
John Fox talks about the Bears. "It’s been good. I’m happy for them." https://t.co/fcgtsrx7uM
— Dan Pompei (@danpompei) December 21, 2018
Despite the positive vibes Fox emits during the Q&A session, one thing that remains constant is an apparent lack of accepting how modern offenses are changing the game. In the interview, Fox raved about the job Matt Nagy has done in his first year as the head coach, but doesn’t seem sold on what’s happening on the offensive side of the ball.
“There are teams like Kansas City that are doing similar things. For me, the jury is out on all of it,” Fox told Pompei. “Some of the defenses are catching up with these things pretty quickly. I mean, remember the run and shoot? It had its moment, but it kind of went away over time. You will have trends, but ultimately it comes down to how well you run it, how well you do on third down and playing good defense.”
If you ever wondered why John Fox was no longer a fit in Chicago, that quote tells you everything you need to know. Because while I do remember the run and shoot and know it isn’t a base formation for an offense in the NFL, its concepts and variations are still relevant, popular, and successful in modern systems. You might be familiar with them if your favorite team uses spread formations and packages … like what is being used by Andy Reid in Kansas City and by his pupils who have gone to coach elsewhere.
Fox mastered the art of using a lot of words to say nothing during his time in Chicago. But once in a while, he says a few sentences that speak volumes about him and the state of modern football.