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Former P.E. major John Fox wants to raise Bears admissions standards

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 20: Head coach John Fox of the Chicago Bears looks on during the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 20, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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Bears coach John Fox is the proud owner of a degree in phys ed from San Diego State University.

But he wants to bring Ivy League standards to the Bears, as he works to improve the overall level of talent on his roster by starting with more qualified candidates.

They actually start with a more selective product,” Fox said of the elite schools, via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. “You have to have this [certain quality], you have to have that, you have to have this, even just to get in.”

Of course, the Bears are trying to overcome what had become a community college level of talent, and that’s going to take more than a year. They only improved one game over the final year of the Marc Trestman regime during Fox’s first season, but as usual, Fox remains optimistic.

He also has very particular things he’s looking for in the applicants for the future.

“The cornerstones of success are hard work and enthusiasm,” Fox said. “And I think sometimes the enthusiasm part gets lost in the shuffle. We talk about guys being above the line [with their energy]. And it’s every day.”

It’s easy to look at that as a direct explanation for many of his transactions, from the trade of want-away tight end Martellus Bennett to the acquisitions of solid free agents Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman and Bobby Massie.

But Fox also has quite a transcript of his own to show his plan works. The Panthers went from seven wins to 11 and a Super Bowl berth his second year there, and the Broncos went from eight wins to 13 his second season there.

A similar bounce could put Chicago in the playoffs this year, which would leave Fox looking pretty smart, indeed.