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John Fox’s ability to fix defenses quickly in demand again

John Fox

Denver Broncos head football coach John Fox smiles at the conclusion of a news conference at the NFL team’s headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Fox returned to work on Monday for the first time since having heart surgery last month.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)


While some have termed Chicago’s hiring of John Fox as a “safe” choice, the reality is there is one safe bet you can make about them next year.

They’ll be better on defense. A lot better.

The hallmark of Fox’s first two jobs in the league was an immediate turnaround of bad defenses.

The 2001 Panthers ranked 31st in the league in total defense. A year later, they ranked second.

The 2010 Broncos were last in the league in total defense. A year later, they ranked second.

The 2014 Bears ranked 30th in that category, so it’s easy to see why they went in the direction of the veteran coach rather than a newcomer.

Fox’s first two reclamation jobs were built of the back of No. 2 overall picks who made an immediate impact, Julius Peppers in Carolina and Von Miller in Denver.

While the Bears are only armed with the seventh overall choice in the 2015 NFL Draft, it’s reasonable to assume they’ll be looking to find the same kind of pass-rusher to rebuild a unit that needs rebuilding.