LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears hired John Fox as their head coach Friday, four days after he and the Denver Broncos parted ways.
Fox was widely seen as a strong candidate to replace the fired Marc Trestman once he left the Broncos on Monday, given his record and his ties to consultant Ernie Accorsi and new general manager Ryan Pace.
Fox was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1997 to 2001 when Accorsi was the GM. Saints coach Sean Payton was the offensive coordinator for part of that time, and he is tight with Pace, who was hired out of New Orleans’ front office.
Fox won the AFC West all four of his years in Denver, but each of those seasons ended in ugly losses, including a 24-13 upset by the Indianapolis Colts this year. He was 49-22 with the Broncos, including the playoffs, following a 78-74 record in nine years with the Carolina Panthers, counting the postseason.
Fox led the Panthers to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme at quarterback and got back there last year with Peyton Manning. The Broncos got blown out 43-8 by the Seattle Seahawks, convincing general manager John Elway to spend $60 million in guarantees on new defensive players so his quarterback shouldn’t have to carry the load by himself.
The Bears decided a shakeup was necessary after going 5-11 and missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years. They fired general manager Phil Emery and Trestman, the first steps in what they hope will be a drastic turnaround.
With Pace and Fox in place, the Bears can turn their attention toward filling the front office and coaching staffs and addressing a long list of roster issues.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images