When John Fox was brought in as the Head Coach in 2014, many thought he would bring a culture change to Chicago. He had a successful career prior to Chicago, and was expected to bring those winning ways to the Windy City.
As a Head Coach, Fox spent nine seasons with the Panthers from 2002-2010. He made the playoffs three teams, reaching the Super Bowl in 2003 before ultimately losing to the Patriots. He finished his tenure with a 73-71 record.
He then spent the next four years with Denver from 2011-2014. The Broncos finished first in the AFC West all four years of his stint. They reached the Super Bowl in 2013 before losing to the Seahawks. Fox finished with a 46-18 record.
Fox came to Chicago with a combined 119-89 record with seven postseason appearances and two Super Bowl berths. He looked like a much better coach than what the Bears had prior.
Lovie Smith was the team’s Head Coach from 2004-2012. Smith wasn’t necessarily bad during his nine years with the Bears. He held a 81-63 record, and brought the team to the playoffs three times, including the Super Bowl in 2006. It was a shock at the time, as the Bears went 10-6 in 2012, however the team was looking for someone who could take them to the next level rather than right in the middle.
Chicago brought in Marc Trestman as their next Head Coach of the Bears. He was coming off of two consecutive Grey Cups in the CFL and looked like an interesting and out of the box hire. Unfortunately he struggled to manage not only games but the locker room. Trestman struggled to just a 13-19 record and was ousted after just two years. His time with the Bears was embarrassing and made the firing of Smith look much worse.
Which is why the hiring of Fox was so heralded. He was a coach who had gone to the playoffs for four straight years and looked like he could fix the Bears, or at least bring them back to the Smith era. To make a long story short, he has not.
In two years with Chicago, Fox has finished 6-10 and 3-13 for a combined, 9-23. The Bears have been the laughing stock of the league and look nothing like Fox’s playoff teams of the past.
Of course, he doesn’t have the same talent he did in Denver/Carolina, but fans have gotten sick of him nonetheless. Many have called for him to be fired and for the Bears to go in a different direction. The Head Coach’s reluctance to give rookie Mitchell Tribusky more reps with the second of first team in practice has been just another hit against him amongst Bears’ fans.
Fire John Fox immediately. https://t.co/6YaOAbttoP
— Zona Red (@MikeEllisCope) August 11, 2017
Fire John Fox, when a team is as embarrassing as the bears have been and the coach doesn't look extremely upset that's an issue.
— Sven Johnson (@SvennyJ6) August 11, 2017
— Tyler Borter (@TBorter) August 11, 2017
Those three tweets come up when you search “fire john fox” on Twitter. The backlash against him has been ravenous and it looks like the coach’s days are numbered.
Luckily for fans are team “Fire John Fox” have some good news. According to sports betting website Sportsline. John Fox is the most likely coach to be fired first in 2017.
Originally the site puts his odds at +825, which is actually lower than the Jets or the Browns. But the site notes that Hue Jackson of the Browns is likely to keep his job as the team goes through a rebuild. They also note that while the Jets could go in a different route and fire Todd Bowles, but with the team in shambles they may look for consistency rather than to shake it all up.
Overall, the site writes:
Jets owner Woody Johnson reportedly is seeking some level of stability. Whether or not he can stand pat during a potential two-win season is to be determined. But no coach could win with this roster. The Bears face a brutal stretch to open the season, and may not be favored to win a game until Week 14 against San Francisco. They’re banking on a QB (Mike Glennon) who’s 5-13 as a starter. A 1-7 start, which is entirely realistic, could force ownership to make a move before the team’s Week 9 bye. Back John Fox at +825.
It may seem like a fluke that Fox’s chances are so high. Of course Sportsline is just one betting website among thousands. However Sportsline has been extremely consistent in predicting the first coach fired.
In 2015 their senior analyst Larry Hartstein predicted Joe Philbin would be the first fired at 15/1 odds. In 2016 Zack Cimini predicted Jeff Fisher at 6/1 odds. So while John Fox doesn’t have the highest odds outright, a prediction from Sportsline makes him the essential favorite.
The regular season is still a little over three weeks away. However John Fox doesn’t look like he will end the year with the Chicago Bears, and may not even make it past Week Eight.
Feel free to continue the conversation on Twitter: @DFappiano14 or @spot_bears