Like a New Year’s ball dropping at midnight, inevitability comes to strike for every NFL franchise.
Unsurprisingly, the Chicago Bears have officially fired John Fox as their head coach following a third consecutive double digit loss season, the team announced today.
Results speak volume for an NFL head coach and Fox was never quite able to deliver for the Bears. What began as a 6-10 2015 season of supposed revitalization and stability following the disastrous Marc Trestman tenure soon spiraled into it’s own catastrophe. What was hope of a newly competitive team that seemingly fought through almost every game, became an illusion of mediocrity even the Bears could not stomach for another period of time. Fox, in turn, was never able to deliver the expected results many in the organization originally envisioned of him.
Chicago would then win set a franchise record for losses in Fox’s second year in 2016 as the team went 3-13. However, injuries were used as an excuse and he was retained for a potential redeeming year. With a young quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky that learned on the fly in tow, that never came into fruition as the Bears’ 2017 season came to a crashing 5-11 thud in 2017. Fox proved restraining on his limited offense, but to his credit he never totally lost his team. Still, the franchise, at least from a glance, was stuck in place with him.
In both of Fox’s previous NFL head coaching stops with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, he eventually was able to take those organizations to the Super Bowl. Obviously with the Bears, he never came close to that mountaintop, which sealed his fate among many other mismanaged circumstances.
The search for a new head coach has been rumored to have been going on for quite some time at Halas Hall as the process now ramps up with out a man at the helm. And, the crosshairs turn onto general manager Ryan Pace, who will receive his second opportunity to hire a head coach.
Now, this will be one of the most crucial off-seasons in Bears’ history as it will ultimately set the table for Pace’s most crucial investment in Trubisky. This next head coach will either have to be the one who develops the young quarterback into a special player himself, or at least picks a staff that can assist in that manner in their own way.
At any rate, Pace and company have their work cut out for them. For his sake Trubisky cannot be a failure. For the future of the Bears as well as Pace in tandem, this next head coach has to be the leader who finally leads Chicago back to relevancy. Another year mired in mediocrity will assuredly not be accepted.
To many, this leap with a quality coach for the Bears is understandably easier said than done. To Pace and the team itself, it’s a necessity for a football franchise teetering on the balance finally looking to leave the doldrums of the NFL.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron, and contributor to The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.