Amid reports of firing, Fox not worried about his future

Updated 12/30/2017 9:54 PM

According to's Ian Rapoport, the Bears are expected to fire head coach John Fox after Sunday's season finale against the Vikings in Minnesota.

Fox's firing has been assumed for several weeks, as his team's have failed to make significant progress since he took over in 2015 following the firing of Marc Trestman, who went 13-19 in his two seasons.


But Fox's record was even worse, and he enters Sunday's game with a 14-33 record.

Fox has said repeatedly that he isn't worried about what the future holds, that he's never had a problem finding employment in the NFL, and he won't have one in the future should he lose his current job as head coach of the Bears.

But what about young coaches in the NFL who haven't earned many millions of dollars as Fox has or don't have his resume? And, has Fox always felt the same way?

"My first NFL experience was with the Pittsburgh Steelers," said Fox, who was the defensive backs coach from 1989-91 for legendary Hall of Famer Chuck Noll. "In those days you didn't have free agency. We basically had two weeks off after the season. I was at my in-laws' house in St. Louis when Chuck Noll informed us he was going to hang it up.

"Not really understanding how this league worked I kind of realized I didn't have a job. I don't remember my exact age then (36), but it's been a minute. But we were No. 1 in the league in defense, in pass defense. I think the minute that happened, that it was made public, I had the choice of about four jobs."

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Fox took the same job with the San Diego Chargers. Two years later became a defensive coordinator with the Raiders, and three years after became the New York Giants' defensive coordinator for five years. And for the past 16 years, he's been a head coach.

"So young or old, it was pretty much why I have the attitude I have," Fox said. "I think we've got a lot of good coaches on this staff, young and old. I don't think they're worried (about employment) either."

Back to school?

Bears wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni coached at the college level for 18 years, and outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley spent 11 years at that level before they both joined the Bears' staff this year.

If the whole staff is fired on Monday, they could go back to college, but head coach John Fox believes they'll have options.

"That's always an option to go back to college," Fox said. It's kind of like, 'Where do you see your career going?' I think once you get to this level, you've got a pretty good reputation on what you do, so I don't think it's problematic.


"It can be upsetting, not so much to the coach, but I think to your family and children and all those kind of things, just like for anybody else."

The same guy:

Bears special-teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers has spent most of his 13 years in the NFL working for head coach John Fox, first with the Carolina Panthers and then the Denver Broncos before coming to Chicago.

So Rodgers was asked how Fox has handled the current speculation about his job security.

"He's the same guy every day," Rodgers said. "He's the same guy in the off-season as in season, and he's really consistent in that regard. You know what you're going to get out of him.

"Game day can be interesting at times, but that's the case with all head coaches because there are a lot of things going on on game day. But he's always been the same person to me since the first time I met him, and I've worked for him for nine years now."

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.


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