For the second time in three seasons the Bears are in the midst of an offseason in which the team is adjusting to a new coaching staff.
This comes after a season of turmoil and despair that included players shouting at one another in the locker room, back-to-back losses while giving up 50 points, an assistant coach (Aaron Kromer) talking ill of the team’s franchise quarterback… and much, much more.
That being said, let’s forget about 2014 and look toward the upcoming season that’s right around the corner.
As you all know, Chicago has hired an experienced head coach (for the first time since Papa Bear’s return in 1958) with the hire of John Fox, who has brought Adam Gase and Vic Fangio on board.
Individually each are significant improvements from their predecessors, together they’re one of the most prominent coaching staffs in the NFL.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each coach and see why Bears fans should be excited by this ardent staff.
Fox is leading his third franchise in the last five years. Although it might sound like a “bad” thing, the reality is…it’s not.
In his time in Carolina, he led a team to the Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme under center. At the reign of the Broncos, Fox won the AFC West title (one with Tim Tebow) each of his four years there. He also had the blessing to work with, and learn from Peyton Manning.
Who’s to say he can’t bring some of those lessons and assist Jay Cutler?
When Fox assumed the head coaching duties in Carolina, he inherited a 1-15 ball club. In his first year, he brought that record up to 7-9. Although it wasn’t a winning season, under Fox the Panthers were drastically improved.
Similarly, he took over the Broncos after the team was coming off an 4-12 season and won multiple division titles from the get-go.
So, there’s hope that Fox can head another swift turnaround in the Windy City.
Fox is renowned for his defensive knowledge. No matter where he’s coached, the defense has been towards the top of the league. I’m confident he can do the same with the Bears’ defense. How close could they get to a “Lovie” type of defense? That is yet to be determined. But, it’s not out of the realm of possibility in Fox’s tenure.
Another thing Fox brings to the table is the fact that he’s a “player’s coach”. Players love to play for the guy, and that is great news for Bears fans.
Well, although we can’t ever be certain, it’s a safe bet to assume that a majority of players didn’t want to play for former head coach Marc Trestman.
That will change with Fox leading the way.
It will be interesting to see the difference on the field as players will play with more intensity and determination; consequently, Chicago should have better results come Sunday.
Now, that’s exciting! 🙂
Adam Gase has joined Fox from Denver to Chicago as the two have some unfinished business to take care of. 😉
To be honest, I would have been completely happy if he was hired as the head coach.
However, to have Gase and Fox is something that Bears fans should be thrilled for as they get one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game.
Gase is intriguing…
He quickly moved up through the ranks in Denver. He started out as the team’s wide receiver coach in 2009, was promoted to the quarterbacks coach in 2011, and worked his way to the offensive coordinator in 2013.
Once he had control over the entire offense, things took flight… Seriously.
His offense led the league in passing in 2013 and finished third in 2014. He was able to make household names out of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Emmanuel Sanders, and Julius Thomas.
How couldn’t he get similar production out of the trio of Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White, and Martellus Bennett?
Let’s not forget, Gase had some previously established stars in Wes Welker and Peyton Manning to work with. He was able to effectively utilize the slot with Welker who averaged 61 receptions the past couple seasons. Now, he has Eddie Royal (who he coached from 2009-2011) to use in a role similar to Welker’s in Denver.
Having another coach who has worked with Peyton Manning is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Gase is a smart man, and I’m certain that he picked the brain of the future Hall of Famer.
Learning from one of the best quarterbacks to play the game, and having targets that eerily mirror the ones he had in Denver will only benefit the Bears’ offense in 2015 and beyond.
Which again, raises the question: Why can’t he have similar success with Cutler?
He has the knowledge and the weapons to work with… The rest is up to the quarterback to put it all together.
Either way, having Gase in charge of the Chicago offense is enticing.
Goodbye Mel Tucker… Hello Vic Fangio! 🙂
Fangio comes to Chicago after four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the San Fransisco 49ers. Within that time, he led a top-tier defensive unit that each year ranked in the top-5.
The biggest difference that Fangio brings to the table is the scheme.
The Bears are now running a 3-4 defense for the first time in franchise history. The unit will be utilizing blitzes, sub-package personnel, and multiple fronts in hopes of creating havoc for opposing offenses.
The best part about this is the fact that Fangio gets to run his own system, unlike Tucker who was forced into running Lovie Smith’s when he arrived… which was flat out disastrous.
Fangio demands respect, and he already has the respect of his players who have dubbed him as “the ultimate defensive coach”. Jared Allen even stated that Fangio’s defense is, “a fun defense to play in.”
His defenses are known for two qualities that have been absent from the Bears’ defense for the past couple seasons: Tenacity and Toughness.
There’s no question that Fangio has the schemes to have a great defensive unit. However, the jury is still out on the players and their ability to execute.
In San Fransisco, Fangio had: NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis (just to name a few). Although, there isn’t a name on the Bears’ roster that strikes as much fear as those players, perhaps Fangio’s coaching will turn one of the current Bears into a defensive stud.
Fangio has his hands full finding roles for his players, but certainly he’ll rise to the challenge. No matter where he’s been, success follows.
Why would we expect anything less?
Looking at each coach individually, there are numerous reasons for excitement. Now, combine all of them together and Bears fans should be exhilarated.
There’s some doubt in terms of the talent on the roster, but Bears fans should rest assured that these leaders of men will do everything in their power to restore the Bears into the Monsters of the Midway once again.
Fox’s tendency to turnaround a team’s fortune, Gase’s offensive prowess, and Fangio’s zeal are major reasons to give a damn in 2015.
In Case You Missed It
Reason #1: Kevin White’s Vitality to Jumpstart Bears Offense
Reason #2: Restoration of Leadership (and the Captain Patch)
Reason #3: New Bears to Help Create New Identity
Reason #4: Players Poised to Perform in Contract Years
Reason #5: The New Coaching Staff of Fox, Gase, and Fangio
Reason #6: Continuing Along the “Cutler Coaster”
Reason #7: Top Three Draftees (Not Named Kevin White)
Reason #8: So Many Questions (Creates a Little Bit of Drama)
Reason #9: New Video Boards and New Lounge to Improve Fan Experience
Reason #10: (Finally) Moving on Past Lovie Smith