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The Chicago Bears hoped John Fox would be a transformative hire for a franchise looking to make its first playoff appearance since 2010, but the team reportedly decided to part ways with its head coach on Monday after the team went 5-11, the team announced on Monday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news.
All told, the Bears went 14-34 during Fox’s three years at the helm.
The Bears initially signed Fox to a four-year deal in January 2015, and his first two seasons on the sideline weren’t exactly smooth.
After going 6-10 in 2015, the Bears encountered a woeful 2016 that included losses in six of their first seven games. That mark was partially fueled by injuries to key players, including cornerback Kyle Fuller, nose tackle Eddie Goldman and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan.
The Bears were also plagued by medical issues under center when quarterback Jay Cutler was shut down with a season-ending shoulder injury after five appearances.
Chicago’s offensive deficiencies were also complicated by the fact that receiver Alshon Jeffery was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, while second-year wideout Kevin White managed four appearances after missing the entirety of the 2015 season.
The offense proceeded to undergo wholesale changes in the personnel department prior to the 2017 campaign. Cutler and Jeffrey both flocked elsewhere in free agency, and the selection of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall in April’s draft confirmed the Bears were embracing a full-blown rebuild.
Channeling that approach, the Bears finished 2017 in the NFC North cellar and floundered on offense with few playmakers at Trubisky’s disposal beyond running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
That said, the defense proved solid and finished the year ranked ninth in opponents’ scoring and 10th in average yards allowed per game.
But despite a clear commitment to the long view, the Bears ultimately decided Fox wasn’t the right coach to lead them into a future that has been littered with uncertainty.
Now Chicago finds itself floating in purgatory once again in a division dotted with worthy NFC title contenders.
Having consistently played the role of also-ran behind the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions in some shape or form for the better part of the last decade, the Bears need to find stability, and they need to find it fast.