“At the end of the day, it’s about performance, and ultimately that’s what we make decisions on.”
Those were the words of Bears’ head coach John Fox when discussing the decision to make rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky the starter for Monday night’s game against Minnesota. Strangely enough, the same words could be said of Fox’s tenure with Chicago if this season continues barreling down its current cellar dweller path.
Heading into their tilt with the Vikings, the Bears are 10-26 under Fox – tied for the 4th worst mark in the league since 2015 – and pending a miraculous turnaround from their current 1-3 record, the front office could say performance is why a new head coach will be roaming the Chicago sidelines in 2018.
Without a doubt, the three years under Fox’s tutelage have not gone according to plan. At its peak, Bears fans envisioned a future with young talent, a hard-nosed head coach and an experienced coaching staff lead by defensive mastermind Vic Fangio that would lead them back to greatness. Some of those hopes have come to fruition watching players like Jordan Howard, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks thrill crowds with their talents, but Monday night marks the biggest hope of them all in Trubisky getting the start.
Not since Cade McNown has there been such hype over a Chicago quarterback when General Manager Ryan Pace went all in on the Tar Heel with the 2nd overall pick in the April’s draft. The move was a bold one, which lead to a 3-13 team making only five selections in an obvious rebuilding period. While the lack of newly infused talent isn’t Fox’s problem, his ability to develop the young players coming in is – specifically Trubisky.
The switch at quarterback comes 12 games earlier than the Bears probably hoped for. A year learning the systems and the league as a whole would have been the best benefit to Trubisky. Had that occurred, there wouldn’t be talk over whether Fox would be back in 2018 – he most certainly would. Glennon was supposed to be serviceable doing the bare minimum to put the team in a position to win every game. Instead, Glennon will go down as one of the worst quarterbacks in franchise history, a turnover prone player who struggled with decision making.
All eyes will be on Fox and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains Monday night to see what they do to help their rookie quarterback thrive. It’s fairly obvious that the mobility Trubisky brings to the table will be utilized heavily against the Vikings, as preseason action saw plenty of rollouts when #10 hit the field.
If Trubisky does indeed thrive under Fox (and at this point, it’s a BIG ‘if’ considering the talent surrounding him), will it be enough to save his head coach’s job? It could be. Not only are the hopes and dreams of Chicago fans resting on the shoulders of their rookie quarterback, the fourth year of Fox’s contract may too.