Chicago Bears’ Coach John Fox On The Hot Seat
Could the Chicago Bears be headed for another coaching change? Bears’ head coach John Fox might be ousted as soon as Tuesday. If the Bears are to lose as expected against the Minnesota Vikings, an important discussion may be had.
From the looks of things, the Bears’ front office is not pleased with the direction the franchise is going. And the next decision made by the Bears could be the firing of head coach John Fox.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that members of the Chicago Bears’ hierarchy are beginning to criticize the job that John Fox is doing. Ironically, it could have been the decision to clear Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler after he spent over a month on the shelf, which could have raised some eyebrows.
According to Rapoport, it could have been a factor.
“They’ll start a quarterback in Jay Cutler on Monday that the front office and Fox clearly aren’t including in their future plans. In fact, they kept him away from practice as Brian Hoyer started, clearing him right after Hoyer’s injury. Grudgingly, Cutler is now back under center, knowing this organization has tried to trade him in the past.”
Staying away from Jay Cutler could have cost the 1-6 Chicago Bears a couple of victories.
Cutler did injure his thumb on his throwing hand in Week 3, and he was unable to play for four weeks. And essentially he would concede his starting job to Bears’ backup QB Brian Hoyer. That has created a simmering controversy.
— NFL (@NFL) October 26, 2016
Questions arise when it comes to Cutler’s actual availability. Because John Fox is so cryptic about the health of his Bears’ players, no one knows who is healthy and who is not. And to pile on matters, there have been several instances where coach Fox has mishandled a player’s injury status for the purpose of being secretive.
The list of Chicago Bears’ players who have had their injury status mishandled is lengthy. It includes Kevin White, Pernell McPhee, Leonard Floyd, among others.
For all anyone knows, Jay Cutler could have been ready to come back for the Chicago Bears in Week 5. Unfortunately, given how injuries of Bears’ players are handled these days, no one outside of the locker room knows when he was ready to return.
What is known is that Fox is not a fan of Cutler. There is a report from the Chicago Tribune citing that Fox has told those close to him that he is done with the Bears’ signal-caller. John Fox would later deny those allegations.
Now as irony has it, John Fox has to rely on Jay Cutler to help him keep his job with the Bears. When asked about whether or not he believes his coach has any faith in him, courtesy of NFL.com, Cutler was rather frank.
“He doesn’t have a choice, I guess, at this point. Brian is out, so I’ve got to go.”
“I’ve had good conversations with Foxy this week, last week, the week before. There’s never been any strain in our relationship. We’re both very open and honest, and we’re on the same page. We just want to win football games.”
Damage could have already been done by Fox’s decision to clear Cutler only after Brian Hoyer broke his left arm. Was deciding to keep Jay Cutler on the sidelines another costly decision made by John Fox?
Looking around the NFL, there are a few former Chicago Bears’ players on other teams, playing more productively than those who have replaced them.
On the New York Jets, running back Matt Forte has 542 rushing yards and six scores. The Bears as an entire team only 615 yards. Rookie Jordan Howard leads the Bears with 352 yards. Most of those yards have come in two games, but he has curiously been out of the offensive game plan as of late.
The Bears' dysfunction between coaching staff and front office has been revealed, and a divorce could be coming. https://t.co/c8yX5lN1Dy
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) October 30, 2016
When the Bears made the decision not to extend Matt Forte a new contract, was that the choice of Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace or John Fox? Either way, it has backfired for the Bears.
Both Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett are having productive seasons with their respective teams. Neither of them were John Fox-type players. The Bears have failed miserably to replace them.
Another indictment on John Fox’s roster decisions was cutting kicker Robbie Gould just days before the start of the season. His replacement, Connor Barth, has missed three of his 12 field goal attempts.
What may eventually doom John Fox in is two-fold. It could be his inability to develop the younger Bears’ players, while somewhat alienating some of the veterans.
How Fox has handled or mishandled the Chicago Bears’ quarterback situation could have rubbed some guys the wrong way. Even if many of them are not fond of Jay Cutler, most of them understand that he gives them their best chance of winning. And at 1-6, that is what the Chicago Bears want to do.
So far it seems like a lost season for the Bears. One that will have casualties that are higher up on the Bears’ food-chain than the beleaguered Jay Cutler.
It could, and probably should cost Chicago Bears’ head coach John Fox his job. Because of how things have gone for the Bears thus far in less than two seasons, it is a guarantee that Fox is on the hot seat.
[Featured Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]