Bears coach John Fox faces heat af­ter loss to Pack­ers

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By Gene Cham­ber­lain

It al­most seems Chicago Bears coach John Fox can’t win for los­ing or win­ning.

Whether it was a re­play chal­lenge he won and ac­tu­ally lost, or the 23-16 de­feat the Bears suf­fered against the Green Bay Pack­ers on Sun­day, Fox was put in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.

Now with a 3-6 record, and 29 losses in 41 games as Bears coach, there was plenty for Fox to ex­plain Mon­day at Halas Hall.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter Sun­day’s loss, Fox said he wasn’t wor­ried about his job se­cu­rity.

“I’ve been do­ing this too long,” said Fox, who is in the third year of a fouryear con­tract. “I’ve never wor­ried about my job se­cu­rity, and I won’t start go­ing for­ward.”

The Bears have lost eight of the past nine to the Pack­ers, and have fin­ished out of the play­offs ev­ery year since 2010.

Their of­fense has strug­gled, in par­tic­u­lar, and us­ing rookie Mitchell Tru­bisky at quar­ter­back the past five games de­creased the num­ber of turnovers with­out pro­vid­ing more scor­ing.

“I think there’s been chal­lenges,” Fox said Mon­day. “I don’t think that we’ve been two of­fen­sive line­ups two weeks in a row. So I think con­sid­er­ing all that, and re­ally no dif­fer­ent from a year ago, just at the quar­ter­back po­si­tion, I think I see im­prove­ment with us get­ting our feet wet a lit­tle bit at the re­ceiver po­si­tion, the tight end po­si­tion as well as the quar­ter­back po­si­tion.

“Again, we’re 3-6 — that’s re­al­ity. We’ve got to get bet­ter.”

The Bears were play­ing with­out in­jured tight end Zach Miller (knee) for the first time, and backup Dion Sims was out with an ill­ness. The of­fense played with­out guard Kyle Long (finger), and with cen­ter Cody White­hair in his place while Hro­niss Grasu played cen­ter.

Chicago also played af­ter a bye week, while the Pack­ers had the dis­ad­van­tage of a short work week fol­low­ing a Mon­day night game. Yet the Bears were any­thing but sharp, with eight penal­ties.

“A lot’s been made about the bye and this hap­pened and that hap­pened,” Fox said. “I think, I mean even los­ing Zach Miller for the sea­son, that was a lit­tle bit of a blow. Dion Sims not be­ing avail­able; those aren’t ex­cuses, those are just re­al­i­ties.

“To have a Pro Bowl guard not avail­able (Long). Those are things that peo­ple deal with and not just our team but everybody’s team. I wouldn’t say by any stretch that we were at full strength be­cause we had a bye week. I don’t think that’s re­al­ity, and bot­tom line is we didn’t ex­e­cute well enough.”

For the sec­ond straight game the Bears of­fense had points taken away be­cause of re­play.

Fox on Sun­day won a re­play chal­lenge but lost points be­cause of it when it was ruled run­ning back Benny Cun­ning­ham lost con­trol of the ball just be­fore hit­ting the py­lon.

Fox cor­rectly chal­lenged the spot, think­ing Cun­ning­ham didn’t step out of bounds — and he was right. The end re­sult, though, was a lost fum­ble and touch­back in­stead of a TD.

Fox said as­sis­tants watch­ing for pos­si­ble re­plays to chal­lenge felt the same way he did about the play when he threw the red flag.

“Hind­sight is 20-20,” Fox said. “I prob­a­bly would not chal­lenge that if I were given the op­por­tu­nity again. And we’ll leave it at that.”

There were ab­sences that made a dif­fer­ence on de­fense, as well. Los­ing inside line­backer Danny Tre­vathan to a calf in­jury de­prived the de­fense of its sig­nal caller against Green Bay. The Pack­ers ran for 160 yards on the Bears.

“It’s def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent, he’s (Tre­vathan) a guy that con­trolled the field,” line­backer Nick Kwiatkoski said. “He’s a play­maker. But in­juries hap­pen. We can’t skip a beat with­out him out there.”


Chicago Bears head coach John Fox ar­gues a call with line judge Bart Long­son (2) dur­ing the first half of an NFL foot­ball game against the Green Bay Pack­ers, Sun­day in Chicago.

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