Bernstein: Oh Shut Up, John Fox

Fox's recent comments about the Bears miss the mark in so many ways.

Dan Bernstein
June 24, 2019 - 1:40 pm
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(670 The Score) In case you had no idea, former Bears coach John Fox is now offering football opinions for ESPN, wheezing out strings of cliches that pass as analysis as he begins the end stages of his profession's life cycle.

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He never felt compelled to say anything remotely interesting on the record in his three years in Chicago and spent the vast majority of his time behind the scenes at Halas Hall complaining about everything while his team kept finishing last in the division. So it raised some eyebrows last week when Fox took the opportunity on NFL Live to single out the Bears as having the league's worst offseason so far, despite the additions of receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and defensive backs Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Buster Skrine and their trading away Jordan Howard to make room for Mike Davis in the backfield and drafting running back David Montgomery and receiver Riley Ridley.

None of that was enough to sway Fox, who explained whatever went into generating his semblance of a thought.

"When you're going to play defense, you're going to lean on takeaways to help a young offense," Fox said. "You don't have a kicker -- a reliable kicker -- that you're going to need those points from after some of those turnovers. I think the kicking question is really big right now in Chicago, and I think that might be a problem for them in the season."

Let's allow Tom Thayer to respond. The former Bear and current team broadcaster fired back Monday while filling in on the Mully and Haugh Show on 670 The Score.

"John, you're the one that got rid of Robbie Gould," Thayer said. "You're sitting here harping about the kicking situation being in flux because you got rid of him. I know he missed a couple kicks at the time, but he was one of the better kickers in one of the most difficult stadiums to kick in, and then he's proved that point going out to San Francisco."

Parting ways with Gould involved much more than a couple costly misses too, with the curmudgeonly Fox unhappy about a kicker being outspoken in the locker room, easily accessible to reporters and active on social media and also elected to serve as the team's NFLPA rep. They didn't want to pay for that package, instead opting for the very uncertainty he now decries. And Thayer is right to call him out. 

Thayer also went on to describe a contentious relationship between Fox and former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio that still informs Fox's feelings toward the Bears, a power struggle that has ended up with Fox in front of a camera and Fangio coaching the Broncos in the big chair.

"John took his voice to ESPN and starts contributing to something after not contributing anything to the media people during his time here," Thayer said.

"I think it was vindictive."

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.