There is something I can appreciate about the old guard of Bears football’s willingness to reach out to the present day team. Whether it is Richard Dent wishing to lend a helping hand to a struggling pass-rusher or Mike Ditka offering up unsolicited advice to Chicago’s current head coach, it’s admirable that the old school Bears are keeping tabs on their new school brethren.
Of course, we know it’s not all sunshine. Recently, ex-Bears standouts Dan Hampton and Gary Fencik spoke up and shared their displeasure with former coach John Fox. Hampton literally thanked the heavens that Fox was out of town, while Fencik took a more diplomatic approach in doling out his criticisms of the Bears’ former leader. And now the latest member of the Bears family to throw some shade in Fox’s general direction is Tom Thayer.
Thayer caught wind of Fox’s criticism of the Bears’ offseason – which has been sub-par by Fox’s standards – then blasted him for his comments regarding the kicking problems (you know, the ones Fox helped create) while filling in as a radio host on 670 The Score.
“John, you’re the one that got rid of Robbie Gould,” Thayer said, via 670TheScore.com. “You’re sitting here harping about the kicking situation being in flux because you got rid of him. I know he missed a couple of kicks at the time, but he was one of the better kickers in one of the most difficult stadiums to kick in, and then he’s proved that point going out to San Francisco.”
Straight and to the point. You gotta love it. *Chef’s kiss dot gif*
If you’ll recall, Gould missed some kicks during the 2016 preseason, which wasn’t a good sign if you consider the injury issues the kicker had been dealing with in the previous year. But still … Gould had a track record of success and his job never appeared to be in peril. That was until Connor Barth — a kicker Fox worked with while in Denver — came onto the market. Barth’s availability set the wheels in motion for Gould’s departure in favor of a kicker Fox was familiar with at the time. The rest is history. Ugly, no-good history.
Thayer’s issues with Fox’s handling of the kicking situation might just be the tip of the iceberg here. Because unlike Fencik and Hampton, Thayer has a unique perspective his ex-teammates don’t have in having worked with Fox in a media capacity. And if you’ll recall, Fox wasn’t all that media-friendly during his three years in Chicago. This seems to have rankled Thayer, who called Fox’s words vindictive as he called out Fox’s hypocrisy by becoming the very thing he swore to destroy by not giving an iota of information. Ironic.
If the Bears go on to win a Super Bowl during this window of competitive football, it’s likely the Fox years will be nothing more of a blip on the radar. Those three seasons are generally forgettable. But if Chicago can’t solve their kicking woes before then, Fox’s time with the team will be remembered more for the problems he created than what he helped clean up in the wake of the mess left by Marc Trestman.