As details came to light surrounding the volatile situation involving defensive Jeremiah Ratliff and the Bears last week, coach John Fox insisted that any concerns over safety were addressed adequately by the organization calling the Lake Forest police as a precaution.
And while the situation between Ratliff and members of the organization did escalate to the point of police being called, perhaps noteworthy is the fact that the initial call to police from Bears was made, not to the 911 emergency line, but to the non-emergency line with the Lake Forest police.
“As I commented early in the week, we were concerned for the building and that's why the police were called,” said Fox, who remained unwilling to discuss specifics of the incident, which reached the point of Ratliff threatening to kill people at Halas Hall and that he was “the devil.”
“I think it's a personal matter and those [don't] need to be public.”
Fox said that there had been no prior incidents with Ratliff, who did have a protracted spat with center Will Montgomery during a morning practice at training camp. Ratliff did have an incident during the final week of practice last season, in which he was adjudged to be in no condition to practice and smashed a clock before leaving.
That was under the Marc Trestman staff and the policy of the new staff under GM Ryan Pace has been to treat players — Ratliff, Ray McDonald — with a clean slate and zero-tolerance policy in the event there is another incident.
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“I have no direct reasoning to feel anything other than evaluating him as he went forward,” Fox said. “And like I said, prior to that day, there was no issues.”
Ratliff’s outburst was not the result of the Bears releasing the 11-year veteran; the opposite, in fact. The problem occurred on Wednesday, the release on Thursday “so the cart wasn’t ahead of the horse,” Fox said. “This was after the fact.”
Fox said that he was not concerned — “satisfied?” — about another Ratliff problem developing. “Satisfied? I don’t know if that’s the right word. But if you’re asking me if I’m nervous, I’m not.”