With players and their baggage cleared out of Halas Hall, the focus on Wednesday shifts dramatically to matters involving their bosses as GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox are scheduled to meet with media around 11 a.m.
How much is formally announced at the start of this pivotal offseason remains to be seen. But foremost among the issues will be the makeup of Fox’s staff, which already has seen one change in what had been among the most successful areas of the football team.
Running backs coach Stan Drayton, who was intimately involved with the development of rookie Jordan Howard’s record-setting first season, will be leaving the Bears for a post at the University of Texas. Drayton had extensive experience at the college level before coming to the Bears as part of the Fox staff, most recently as assistant head coach/running backs at Ohio State from in 2013-14 after joining the Buckeyes as wide receivers coach in 2011.
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Drayton inherited veteran Matt Forte and was involved in the development of Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey last year to the point where the organization felt comfortable going with a backfield minus Forte. The Bears’ commitment to running the football this season was inconsistent (39.3 percent of all plays) despite Howard averaging 5.2 yards per carry and he and Langford accounting for 10 rushing touchdowns.
Fox publicly supported offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains’ play calling despite a stated plan to become a running football team. What if any changes Fox makes to his offensive staff has been the source of some speculation, particularly with Mike McCoy being out as head coach in San Diego. McCoy was offensive coordinator under Fox in both Carolina and Denver.