Chicago Bears head coach John Fox may make changes to his coaching staff this off-season but that won't include his three coordinators.
"I can tell you that our coordinators are intact," Fox said yesterday.
That means offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers will all return for the 2016 season.
Before Fox's announcement, there were many wondering if Loggains would be replaced, as the team finished 27th in points scored this year. Yet Fox saw enough growth on offense to retain Loggains.
"I think at 3-13, I think we’re 15th in the league [in total offense], which is just slightly above average in offense," Fox said. "We got explosive plays, we ran the ball efficiently. We got behind, tried to play catch up late in the games, those totals go down. You look at the three games we won, what comes first the chicken or the egg? [Jordan Howard] had 20 carries or more? It’s because we had a lead in those three games. So sometimes it can be the wrong thing.
"I think obviously we didn’t score enough points. Obviously turnovers were big on that, minus 20 in turnover ratio. Definitely not a formula for successful. That’s two-fold, That’s three-fold, you can put special teams in there as well. I think from design to starting with three quarterbacks, with the rotation of the receivers, inconsistency with personality, I think it’s a positive thing. Are we there yet? No, but i don’t think it’s play-calling or design that are issues. I think it’s just remain consistent with our performance and with that comes wins."
There were rumors during the season that Fangio, whose relationship with Fox has strained the last two years, would bolt at season's end. That won't be the case either, as GM Ryan Pace said there is no serious divide between Fox and Fangio.
"[Their relationship] is good, it’s good," Pace said. "John’s a former defensive coordinator so there’s constant communication there. Their offices are side by side.
"Hey man, you guys have been around football long enough. When you’re going through a tough season, of course there are going to be debates that happen. It should happen. It happens in the draft room, it happens with coaches. But it’s a healthy, productive relationship."
The Bears were in the bottom half of the league in every major special teams statistical category, including dead last in average yards allowed per punt return (12.8), but Jeff Rodgers will return for his third straight season.
As for Fox, who has the second worst win percentage of any head coach in franchise history (.281), Pace is confident the right man is in charge.
"I get we're all judged on wins and losses. John is, the whole building is," Pace said. "From Day 1 I said I want us to be a tough, smart, disciplined football team. I definitely think we're headed in that direction. I think some things happened this season that put major stress on the coaching staff and I get that. But for us to get better long term I think of a couple different things. I think it's developing our talent, and it's developing our culture and I think we're doing both of those things. So I know this season was hard, and I know there's a lot of lack of patience really around the league, but I believe we're headed in the right direction.
“John and I have a tight, close relationship and we talk about staff all the time, and it’s not just the coaching staff, it’s all the department heads in football ops. Hey, we’re talking about our scouts, and we’re talking about our trainers and every department in football ops. But I’m confident in this coaching staff. I am. Of course, every year, win or lose, there’s some changes with position coaches and even some scouts, and I think it happens, but I’m confident in this staff going forward.”