17 January 2015

John Fox is the new head coach of the Chicago Bears

(AP)
The last time the Chicago Bears have hired a head coach with prior head coaching experience? 1958. Who was the coach? None other than George Halas.

Well that interesting trend has concluded as the new head coach of the Bears will be John Fox, as first reported by Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Fox "parted ways" with the Broncos on Monday and now he'll be replacing Marc Trestman in taking over a Chicago club that was a major disappointment in 2014. Can he be the guy to turn the program around?

If anything, Fox gives the Bears something completely different from what they got from Trestman. While Trestman has the reputation of being a great quarterback coach and a good playcaller, he ultimately was unable to handle the locker room as it was slowly unraveling. On the other hand, Fox gives the Bears a much-needed veteran and steady hand to run the club. He has built a reputation of being one of the better coaches in the league from his time in Carolina and in Denver.

What Fox also brings to the table that will be much-needed for this club is his defensive expertise. It was not all that long ago at all that the Bears' defense was one of the finest in the league but the unit fell apart quickly during the Trestman tenure. The Bears finished 30th in the league in yards allowed in both 2013 and 2014 while they were 30th in points allowed in 2013 and 31st this past season (they were fifth in yards allowed and third in points allowed in the last year of Lovie Smith). Trestman is obviously not a defensive coach but he also showed next to little understanding of defense and that alone should be where Fox provides an upgrade.

But the biggest questions pertaining to the Bears surround quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler generated a ton of criticism this past season for lackluster play, relatively speaking, following his massive contract extension, as well as seeming too blasé as the team was falling apart over the course of the season. It also is not out of the question that Cutler is not on the roster by the team the 2015 season kicks off but it may be tough to move him. Cutler still succumbs to turnovers and overall inconsistent play but he still is very physically talented and should Fox and whoever he hires as his offensive coordinator finally gets the most out of him, the team will benefit greatly.

The McCaskey family is hungry for a winner after many years of mediocrity and I think Fox can be the guy to win some games in the Windy City. What will ultimately determine the amount of success will be what happens with Cutler and if this new brass can get the most out of him but I think this has the makings of a successful hire.

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