Bears’ New Staff Brings Stability

Bears’ New Staff Brings Stability

Tim Rasmussen

It’s been 30 years since Chicago fans shuffled to the Super Bowl.

In that time, Wannstedt, Jauron, Smith and Trestman all had their turn to lead the Bears to that glory — all failed. Now, it’s John Fox’s turn.

After an agonizing season, the Bears hired the former coach of the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos to help regain the respectability the team once had.

Although Fox is the franchise’s 15th head coach, he is the first to be hired with previous experience coaching another team. Perhaps this will be the big change the team that finished the season 5-11 so desperately needs.

The Bears have plenty to work on before the new season begins, but if there is one thing that fans can agree need to be worked on after last season, it’s the leadership on the team. In the press conference formally announcing him as the head coach of the Bears, Fox said, “I’m brutally honest. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” The new season is months away but Fox made it clear, “Football is a combative, physical game. It takes combative, physical people.” Just like that, there is clear discipline in the locker room.

Another issue the Bears have to deal with is quarterback, Jay Cutler. His lack of leadership and productivity on the field left many fans doubting whether or not he should be the team’s starter. While Fox did not directly address this issue, he did say, “I look forward to meeting Jay…” It was quickly noticed however, that Fox referred to Cutler as “Jake” more than once throughout the press conference. To this, many were left wondering whether it was an honest mistake or a message from Fox to Cutler.

Despite his age, Fox brings a new start to the Monsters of the Midway. He is experienced in not only football, but also winning. Most importantly, he commands respect, something the Bears need.

New Coaching Staff

Fox’s 20 years of experience has created relationships across the NFL. Those relationships have helped him form one of the most formidable coaching staffs in the league. Shortly after his introductory press conference, Fox hired Jeff Rodgers as special teams coordinator. Rodgers was with Fox in Denver and has a reputation of being a solid special teams coach.

As far as the offense and defense, Fox and Bears general manager Ryan Pace brought in some of the most respected names in the game.

Adam Gase, who also spent the last few seasons with Fox and Rodgers in Denver, will be calling offensive plays for the Bears. In 2013, under Gase, the Broncos set an NFL record by scoring 606 points, including a league-record 76 touchdowns. In 2014, the Broncos finished second in the NFL in scoring, which also ranked as the 25th-most in NFL history.

Vic Fangio, former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator will be heading the Bears defense. Fangio spent the last four seasons serving as defensive coordinator under former head coach Jim Harbaugh, and under his tutelage the team’s defense was among the most fearsome in the league. He has experience with both 3-4 and 4-3 style defenses and is expected to continue his unique hybrid style in Chicago.

Now that Pace has his coaching staff set up, it is time to work on the team’s roster. Both Gase and Fangio like playing aggressive and fast, and while the Bears offense is loaded with talent, the overall roster is lacking youthful speed and aggression. Though it is impossible to predict how the Bears will fare next season, it is safe to say respected, knowledgeable coaches will lead them.