233 Comments

John Fox’s Third Act

| January 16th, 2015

foxy

The best I’ve ever been taught the three-act structure of playwriting was by a a wonderful writer and teacher named Pat Cook at the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. Cook, recalling the lessons of a teacher from his own past, described it thus:

Act One: get the main character up a tree.

Act Two: throw rocks at him.

Act Three: if he comes down safely, comedy. If he falls to his death, tragedy.

At the risk of harping on an issue many readers of this site could care less about, this structure is being more or less abandoned by the modern dramatic writer. The three-act play is being replaced by the 65-minute “meditation” on a relevant theme. (How hard it is to be gay, violence in schools, sex scandals in politics!) Plays with beginnings, middles and ends – once referred to as “well-made plays” – are now considered old-fashioned.

oneill

John Fox is not the hot coordinator of the moment, the NFL’s equivalent of a meditation on a relevant theme. What has Adam Gase actually done? How much does Dan Quinn actually provide the ridiculously-talented Seahawks defense? Shhh! Who cares? These are the names of the moment and they excite owners and fans in the same manner any shiny toy in the window excites a child: they’re new!

Fox is not new. He is a veteran head coach, an established structure, an old-fashioned play. The Chicago Bears are his third act.

Prologue

John Fox served on multiple staffs before his first head coaching gig, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Raiders (under Al Davis) and as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. You want a tough guy pedigree in the league? You couldn’t choose three better organizations.

Act One: Carolina Panthers

After two seasons in Carolina, John Fox looked like one of the best coaches in the NFL.

In 2002 he took over George Seifert’s 1-15 misery train and elevated a nothing defense from 28th in points allowed to 5th while managing seven wins out of roster that had no business winning four games.

In 2003, the Panthers were in the Super Bowl – a game they could easily have won.

In 2005, Fox and his star wide receiver Steve Smith made a postseason run into the Meadowlands and Soldier Field in back-to-back weeks, ambushing Tom Coughlin (a pretty good coach) and a Bears defense that was one of the best in the franchise’s history. Improbably, a mediocre wildcard club made the NFC title game.

In 2008 the Panthers won another division title but lost to a dynamic Cardinals attack with Kurt Warner at quarterback that came one miraculous Ben Roethlisberger pass from winning a Super Bowl title.

2010 was Fox’s final season in Carolina and it is, in effect, a resume killer for him. His ownership had pillaged the roster. His quarterbacks were Jimmy Clausen, Matt Moore and Brian St. Pierre (TD-INT of 9-21). His team finished 2-14. Without this season in Carolina, Fox would have been 71-57 as Panthers head coach. While I understand his worst season can’t be removed from his resume, when a coach wins no less than 7 games in 12 of his 13 seasons and 2 in the 13th, one doesn’t have to leap far to consider that season an anomaly.

The Denver Broncos sure didn’t hold 2-14 against him. Act one’s curtain was barely down a minute.

Act Two: Denver Broncos

Here is the only sentence one needs to register from Fox’s tenure in Denver: he did not win a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.

Yes, John Fox revitalized a defense in desperate need of revitalization but that is what is assumed out of Fox. Yes, he won a playoff game with Tim Tebow but remember the “Tebow season” is one of the flukiest in the history of the NFL. They had zero business being in the postseason. Yes he won a zillion games and three division titles with Peyton Manning but everyone wins a zillion games and division titles with Manning. With Manning there is only one acceptable result for the football public: Super Bowl title.

Fox did not win one. So despite four years every non-champion in that period would sign for, Fox is out. He was up the tree. Those are the rocks.

Act Three: Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are the third and final act of John Fox’s NFL head coaching career. And now he must answer the question still outstanding:

Can he win a Super Bowl?

No bigger question faces the legacy of head coaches and quarterbacks in the NFL.

Is John Fox a great NFL head coach? Outside of Marv Levy it is hard for me to call any NFL head coach without a ring great and Fox’s failures in the postseason certainly don’t warrant that label. But if he climbs this final mountain and hoists the Lombardi Trophy on the last Sunday of the football season all of those wins and all of those organizational turnarounds will suddenly be viewed through a different lens – the lens of a championship coach. Greatness may not be assured but it will certainly be part of the conversation.

If he fails to win a title he’ll be grouped with dozens of men who’ve won many games in the league without winning the one where the commercials are a big deal. Marty Schottenheimer. Dan Reeves. Chuck Knox. Andy Reid. The good-not-greats. Coaching purgatory. Ask those men and they’ll tell you…it is not a fun place to be.

knox

Fox is in a rare situation. Only Bill Parcells has ever taken a third head coaching job having reached the Super Bowl with his previous two clubs. (Parcells won two titles with the New York Giants and lost to Green Bay with New England.) Fox went twice. But he lost twice. Because of those losses his third job is the perfect third act for a football coaching career as everything is at stake. Bears fans are at the edge of their auditorium seats, anxiously anticipating what is to come next.

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  • Scharfinator

    FIRST

  • Shady

    Nice summary and playwright analogy, but it’s a little bit early to start talking Super Bowl… dontcha think?

    • Bears-4-Ever

      I say dream big!

    • Big Mike

      When you are introducing a new coach it is ok. That’s the goal. I don’t think anyone is talking about next year.

      • Shady

        And I get that’s the knock on the guy, but let’s see if he can put out this dumpster fire first.

        • Bender McLugh

          it’s cool, I can do both

    • AlbertInTucson

      Agree. Lets get back above “Laughingstock” first.

    • Scott W.

      Why?

  • Shady

    Tomsula trainwreck of a introductory press conference. Painfully awkward. See below and skip to the 4 min mark.

    http://www.49ers.com/video/videos/Jim-Tomsula-Introduced-as-49ers-Head-Coach/8d888be1-8965-460d-8b67-ad49200c396c

    • AlbertInTucson

      Somewhere, Jim Harbaugh is giggling.

      • BerwynBomber

        Although in semi-fairness, Captain Comeback was often an awkward/WTH presser himself. John, OTOH, is usually quite lucid.

        • AlbertInTucson

          I don’t think he was being awkward. I think he was just being a jerk.

    • Trac

      Oh boy. That was brutal. Now I understand why Emery wanted his coaching candidates to give mock presser’s. Hahahaha

  • Shady
  • John Doe

    Chicago Bears2m
    New #Bears coach John Fox born Feb. 8, 1955; new Cubs mgr. Joe Maddon born Feb. 8, 1954. Super Bowl L will be played Feb. 7, 2016.

    • Trac

      Que the twilight zone music. Hahahahaha

  • Let the word play commenc : http://youtu.be/_PVjcIO4MT4

    • Shady

      Had this song (Wayne’s World version) posted a couple threads ago.

  • T’Challa

    Three times a charm.

  • Johnnywad

    This is very well written Jeff. This was a very enjoyable and thought provoking edition. Well done.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Fair questions.

    “What has Adam Gase actually done?
    Peyton’s basically his OWN OC, no?
    Maybe that’s why Fox became available in the first place.

    “How much does Dan Quinn actually provide the ridiculously-talented Seahawks defense? ”
    Great personnel makes a LOT of defensive schemes work. But when key guys were out of their lineup, like Don’t-we-wish-the-Bears-had-a Bobby Wagner, the Seahawk Defense suffered.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      They run Pete Caroll’s D using players hand picked by Pete Caroll.

      You bring Quinn in not for the scheme, but for the insight on how to acquire and manage the right personnel.

      On Gase…they said something on Waddle&Silvy that was very smart. If he wasn’t the real deal, would have Manning accepted him as his OC while going for his 2nd Super Bowl run ?

      • John Doe

        So if Gase is so smart and good why is Elway not handing him the HC job? Why is Elway going back to Kubiak who has an average record at best?

        • AlbertInTucson

          Maybe Mr. Manning has something to say about that situation…?

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          We’re talking about him being a good OC, not a HC. I believe there’s a slight difference between the 2 positions.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Elway’s not so smart methinks. He’s the guy that would be looking over Ryan Fitzpatrick’s shoulder at the Wonderlic.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Manning’s his OWN OC. Why does he care how smart his OC is?

        As for Quinn

        “They run Pete Caroll’s D using players hand picked by Pete Caroll.”
        That completely contradicts

        Quinn’s supposed “insight on how it acquire.”

        How much acquiring is Quinn doing if Carroll’s doing the hand picking?

        • Trac

          I didn’t take Barbs comments seriously on that post. Neither should you. Hee hee.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          What ? So all the talk about Pace learning from Sean Payton is bogus ?

          Quinn has insight on what Caroll does and how success is achieved.

          As for Manning-Gase stuff that’s just silly. The OC isn’t the leader and main voice of the group, but his work is highly valuable in regards to the opposition scouting, trends, protection and run game.

          Why the fuck would Manning want a moron besides him ? That seems contra productive.

      • Trac

        Quinn clearly improved Seattle’s defense after arriving in Seattle. He is a legit DC.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Bullshit. They were mind blowing Defense before him, running the exact scheme using the same exact player prototypes and mentality.

          They just improved quality and experience wise. He was ‘gifted’ Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

          Gus Bradley never had those 2 (he was using Red Bryant at DE, a pure run stopper) and Bobby Wagner was a rookie. So he had 1 of Quinn’s best 3 Front 7 players and he was a rookie.

          2012 Seattle Seahawks Defensive starts:

          Defensive ranking: No. 4; 10th against the run, 6th against the pass
          Average yards allowed: 306.2 (4th)

          ****Points allowed: 245 (224 by the defense) (1ST IN THE NFL !!!)****

          Anything else I have to point out ???

          • Trac

            That’s your opinion my Freudian Friend.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            That’s not an opinion. They were the best scoring Defense in the NFL in 2012. Period.

            That’s fact. And then they added 2 top DE while keeping the already present DL and their MLB become not a rookie anymore.

            Add to that an Offense that become very productive and the ST that become the best in the NFL and you’ll get better field position and more pass predictable opponents while Seahawks D played with the lead.

            It was a natural improvement orchestrated by Caroll from Day 1. Quinn did great, but he wasn’t the reason they become historically good. He was part of it… nothing eye popping, though.

          • Trac

            Barbarino’s bringin da heat! Sa-wing batter, batter! Sa-wing!

          • Trac

            I love your responses barb. Really. It kinda reminds me of feeding a pet piranha. Hee hee.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            I’m trying, man. Keep it real, bring the heat.

            I’m not here to put myself to sleep as I follow the Mortal Kombat format, rather than Village Ville (something something).

          • Irish Sweetness

            The geometric shapes on the lunar surface, Mars, Phobos, comet 67P and the asteroid Vesta would be good, thanks Barb.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            I can roll a joint with my eyes closed. Does that count ?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Dude. anyone can roll a joint with their eyes closed. I no longer partake, sadly.
            How many skins do you use? Big ones or small ones?

          • CanadaBear

            Of course, only one. Zig-Zag originals in the white pack. When I first started buying them they were 5 cents.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            well one and I don’t discriminate. I adapt to what kind of weed I have, I’m not schematically entrapped.

            lol

  • John Doe

    Interesting interview with John Fox by Denver Post columnist. Key detail..

    Dennis Allen, Jim Schwartz and Mike Smith are candidates to become his defensive coordinator. Adam Gase, Fox’s offensive coordinator the past two years in Denver, is under consideration for the same role with the Bears. But there are other candidates, too.

    http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_27335056/john-fox-hired-chicago-bears-head-coach-source

  • Trac

    Here’s my script:

    Act 1: Fox signs with the Bears.
    Act 2: The Bears become a football team again.
    Act 3: Watching a Bears Packers game will no longer be a painful experience.

    • AlbertInTucson

      And hopefully not a comedy.

    • Big Mike

      When it was 42-0 at half time… Hold that feeling and those images. No lower point in all of Bears history. I can’t even describe it.

      • SC Dave

        I disagree. To me this is worse:

        The worst is so bad I cannot even look for it… the Packers hoisting the HALAS trophy at Soldier Field.

        • Big Mike

          The trophy hoisting was tough, top 10 worst. But we were in the NFC championship game and we were competing. IMHO Football comes with losses like that, it hurts but it’s the game.

          The ball on the ground higher up the list top 3. I was screaming, wtf, wtf ball, ball, ball. (saw the opinion of the clip and couldn’t finish).

          But when you are being bent over and can’t even must a token fight, just laying there taking it… on national TV.. and your head coach.. looks scared, not angry.. there was no lower moment in this proud franchises history. 42-0.

          • Irish Sweetness

            We should do a bracket thing where we select the 10 worst Bear moments. Charles Martin gets my vote. He fucked us. Proper fucked us.

          • CanadaBear

            Maybe I’m splitting hairs but for me a Bears worst moment is more of a fuck up on the Bears part rather than the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen on the football field. Totally agree about how bad that fucked us.

          • Big Mike

            Charles Martin may have had the biggest negative impact. But the topic is low points in Bear fandom. 42-0 still has my vote, on the basis of bad things happening in a championship/playoff game etc by definition are not as low as being a laughingstock.

  • CanadaBear

    Good article about Fox and the D. Sounds like he prefers a D like we had under Jauron.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/bears/john-fox-hiring-foreshadows-changes-bears-d

    • Trac

      You gotta roll with the one that brought you to the dance. It will be interesting to see if Fox can utilize Ego and Sutton. Will the Hillbilly get another year? To me, it’s obvious the players on the roster haven’t been utilized properly.

      • CanadaBear

        I thought the article spelled it out pretty well. It will be interesting to see if Houston and Young bounce back. Houston’s ACL tear doesn’t worry me as much as Young’s achilles. The article thought they might go DL in Rd 1. I get it but we are so hurting at LB, S and CB, I just don’t see how that makes sense. We need at least 2 LB’s (I’m being charitable), 2 S’s and 2 CB’s. This off season will be fascinating. We deserve that after putting up with the garbage we had to endure this year.

        • Johnnywad

          I am very curious to see what guys like Bostic, Jones, Vereen, Sutton and Ferguson look like under proper coaching. Perhaps the cupboards aren’t as bare as we think.

          • Scott W.

            I am most curious about Shea McClellin’s future with Chicago. He’s the alleged enigma. “He’s just not playing the position he’s meant to.” “He’s a really smart player, he’s just not ready yet”. “We have to give Shea the right people around him”.
            So I’ll be interested to see what Fox (so much easier to type than Nessman/Trestman) does with him.
            I also think Cutler will be the QB for 2015. Like SC Dave once frustratingly asked me when I was screaming for him to be replaced: “With who?”.
            Peanut is another good question.
            Lastly, buh-bye Kromer. Try and act like a man while you’re in Buffalo.

          • Johnnywad

            I don’t need to see anymore of Shea. On his best day, he’s replaceable. Time to part ways and find a guy with a higher ceiling.

            I love Peanut, but I just don’t see how they could sign him again. Injuries are a problem in the NFL and I can’t imagine sacrificing a roster spot for another season to a player you can be fairly certain won’t take many snaps. If we’re ushering in a new era of accountability, Pace HAS to staff the roster with guys the team believes have a reasonable chance to stay healthy. Peanut isn’t that. I’d pay the man as a consultant and have him work with the DB’s for as long as he so chooses.

          • Big Mike

            I think he might make one hell of a special teams player next year. Speed, size, etc. Not exactly what you want from a number 1, but he’s under contract and would provide depth at LB.

            Not that anyone that gets to the NFL is “soft”, but McClellin seems to be relatively soft.

          • Johnnywad

            That’s pretty reasonable at this point. I could be happy with that. I doubt he’ll get the same preferential treatment due to his draft status under the new staff. They have no skin in the game with him. Of the existing roster, best guy plays. At least that’s what I’m hoping for..

          • Big Mike

            He might even be a beast at ST. That unit needs a leader.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Good call. I always dreamed of him moving to safety but that won’t happen.

          • CanadaBear

            CD played ST’s this year.

          • Big Mike

            What? like a gunner?

          • CanadaBear

            Not sure BM. Not a gunner. I just remember seeing #50 arriving late to the party a few times.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That dude Jason Cole seemed to have the skinny on Coach Fox, he said that the buzz was Cutty would be our QB next season. How could that be the buzz when the GM and HC weren’t even partnered yet?

            Is Ted, being the beancounter, making that call?

          • Johnnywad

            No, Ted isnt making that call. Cole’s probably just using his head. I’d say its pretty likely Cutler stays at least through next season. Its pretty easy to call that “buzz”, if you want to. The Bears have said both openly and through supposed “sources”, that decision is up to the next coach and GM. His salary, physical gifts, and the absence of a discernable, better, available QB make it likely he’s a Bear this fall. Nothing more than that in my opinion.

          • Irish Sweetness

            At this point surely Cutler’s only use us to is the draft pick he gives us. Salary and ability wise, he isn’t helping …

          • CanadaBear

            Unless we get an offer we can’t refuse (highly unlikely) Cutler will be here in 2015. There really isn’t a viable option out there to replace him. Lots of names but nothing to get excited about. Lovie enabled Cutler and Nessman was afraid of his own shadow. Fox is a players coach but he won’t be enabling Cutler. With the right OC hire I think Cutler will cut back on the TO’s. Just pounding the rock will help cut down the TO’s.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s a good point about the ground game, C-Bear. It’s not like Cutty is early vintage Testaverde. If we can manage to dump Garza and get that line mean and nasty AND find a bruiser to pound the rock. Not a slight on Matty, it’s just not his thing and we shouldn’t rely on one guy anyway.

          • CanadaBear

            I think Forte will be fine but if we really are going to pound it, we need to get a legit FB and a legit backup RB. I have no idea if Carey can fill that role (backup RB). He certainly seems willing but that lack of speed really bothers me.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Loving this. Big D-tackles and it sounds certain that he’ll draft an edge rusher in the first. Randy Gregory? Make him a blitzing LB and draft a DE in the second. He might even use Ego and Sutton as trade bait?

  • Scott W.

    Jeff, sometimes, your quill really glides the ink.

  • Cormonster

    Should Bud Grant also be included among great coaches who never won a Super Bowl? After all, he lost 4 Super Bowls like Levy, and won two more CFL Championships than Levy as a coach. He always seemed like a tough guy coach when I was a kid.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I think a Bud and a Bum should be on the list. The ‘Bum’ that wore a ten gallon, that one.

  • AlbertInTucson

    I like the tree analogy. Reminds me of an OLD joke.

    Acme Gorilla Removal Service.

    • CanadaBear

      Shoot the dog, Shorty!

  • RenoBear

    Bears request permission to interview Vic Fangio, per Adam Schefter .. Me likery very much

    • RenoBear
    • Shady
    • Barb UMihai Mar

      That would be HUGE. He’s the best of the best.

      Now if Vic Fangio comes I sure as shit would become excited.

      PS: He’s 4-0 against Rogers. His D kept Rogers with less passing yards than either Smith and Kopernik in each of all those 4 games.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Bears Pats superbowl, Barb … who ya got?

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Bears obviously. My brother is a Patriot fan so that would be interesting.

          Unfortunately the Bears go to the playoffs once every 4 years, so the chances of such an encounter are very slim.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Every 4 years? Really? Is that including pre-superbowl days? I remember a superbowl Hester-special, being pantsed by the Packers in our own back yard for the conference … and that’s it …

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            last 20+ years.

          • tobijohn

            What? There’s actually two guys in Romania that follow the NFL?

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            My women watch…when they bother me on Sunday afternoon/night.

            https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t31.0-8/470207_208097619301532_2134858105_o.jpg?dl=1

            They don’t mean anything to me, but maybe they count for you.

  • burntorangenavyblue

    Anyone know if they will have a press conference with Fox?

    • EnderWiggin

      11:00cst Monday, I believe.

  • Thisguy_justsaid
    • CanadaBear

      Fox was always one step ahead of Lovie when we played him. They are very similar but Fox has enough cache in the league to attract a decent OC. Lovie never did.

  • Thisguy_justsaid

    Article is kind of interesting

  • Cormonster

    Anyone here plan on going to the 3 day Greatful Dead 50 year reunion extravaganza at Soldier Field over the 4th? That’s gonna be one hell of a party. Should be the most exciting event at Soldier Field since the Bears beat the Cowboys in 2013, unless some of you like One Direction.

    • Irish Sweetness

      All one direction fans please stand up. Broadway and One Direction fans to the left of the yellow line please … anyone who paid hard-earned money to see ‘Stomp!’ or that Spiderman-on-stage crap … move it along now …

      (subtle motion to the firing squad in the rafters, exit stage left)

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      I wish. Boy do I wish.

  • Trac

    I’ve been reading about Fox while at Denver and I think it’s pretty obvious they let him walk because he convinced Elway to loosen the purse strings last year in free agency only to lose in the divisional round. It pretty much seems that is where Fox and Elway batted heads.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      I don’t buy it.

      Fox (or anybody) convincing Elway to do something he didn’t want to do —> faulted logic to begin with.

      He thanked himself for fuck’s sake two days ago. That isn’t a dude that does what other people want, especially a subordinate.

      • Trac

        The squabble was over the guaranteed money they had to shell out to get the players Fox wanted.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Elway decided the players he wanted. Fox coached them. It’s Elway show in Denver.

  • Big Mike

    Gentleman, from Matt Bowen. Something I’ve been talking about for a couple days, and one of the main reasons I’m excited about John Fox.

    “The next step? Put together a staff of coaches that is ready to TEACH.
    That is something often lost at the pro level with some position coaches
    who revert to handing out game plans instead of teaching technique,
    developing talent and pushing players”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-john-fox-bowen-bears-spt-0118-20150117-column.html

    • Irish Sweetness

      That’s why I miss Maranelli. The players used to preach on how he was a teacher, which makes me think most coaches in the NFL are just shouters and egomaniacs. Shouldn’t ALL coaches be teachers? The only coaches I ever met were Dolphin’s coaches, and they were all about the chewin’ tobacco. What was going on with the coaches we’ve just had? Were they teaching badly, were they teaching at all? That defense these last few years was too bad to be true.

      • Big Mike

        The coaches we had on defense, were simply happy to be there. Marinelli is a perfect example of a guy who coaches football players. I’ve been to a number of coaching clinics, and participated in sessions conducted by Saban, Tressel, Jim Harbaugh and a host of big name guys, along with position coaches and coordinators from secondary D1 and D1AA schools. You can tell which guys are teachers, which guys are climbers, and which guys are leaders. On rare occasion you get guys who are 2 out of 3, and the gem is the 3Star guy. Of all the guys I’ve ever listened to. Harbaugh was the only 3 star guy. He commanded the room, which was full of Head Coaches from youth football leagues, HS and College, but he also demonstrated hand placement under center, in a shotgun, footwork on a counter and so on. When his helper (coach from audience) didn’t get it right, he stopped, repositioned his hands, feet, shoulder whatever and made him repeat that segment of the motion. Tressel, when asked a similar question, more or less passed on it and gave a quick anecdote.

        I’m hopeful that the Bears have more talent on the roster than was shown under Trestman.

        • beninnorcal

          That’s pretty cool, Mike. I love reading stuff like this.

          • Big Mike

            It is pretty cool, I was actually the guy demonstrating the under center snaps with Harbaugh. His coaching point, “you jam your center thumb knuckle right up the center of the center’s ass” To the center you snap it and turn it, like you’re trying to shake his hand before he moves it.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Great stuff!

          • Johnnywad

            I think this precludes me from ever playing center or QB. That sounds horrible for everybody.

          • Big Mike

            So coaching youth football is pretty hilarious when it comes to this aspect. The littlest dudes

            7-8 years old do whatever you tell them because their little dudes, but they think it’s kinda gross.
            Then for a couple years after that, not such a big deal, because they’ve been doing it for a while. every now and again you’ll get a kid who hasn’t played QB, who is a bit weirded out by it, but the OL looks at him like “WTF, you doing this or not”.

            But then when the boys hit middle school, you have to schedule a few minutes for them to get all the jokes out.

            One of the funnier stories is a day where we were in shells only, early in the preseason, my regular center wasn’t there, my LG was my back up, so I told him to slide over and play center. he’s a bit hesitant, but that’s normal. My QB goes under center and comes out squealing. Turns out LG was commando that day and his junk was loose. We ran plays out of the pistol and shotgun that day.

          • Scott W.

            Friggin hilarious Mike.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            That IS funny. Say Mike, can one get into coaching if their only experience is high school ball?

          • Big Mike

            Short answer is yes. Like any volunteer group, there’s always a sniff test.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Born to teach, Doc!

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s cool. Somebody should have mentioned that to SexCannon. Coach Fox will find us some good ones.

        • Scott W.

          See my comment above on Tressel and NBIT. Won’t surprise you a bit.

    • Anonymous Yahoo Poster

      I hear you Mike but think about the source. Matt Bowen never had the talent to stay or compete at a high level in the NFL. He was an NFL player, which makes him elite compared to us but the Bears have too many Matt Bowens at too many positions. We need elite talent AND coherent coaches that lead, not just guys coming in to teach.

      • Big Mike

        Matt Bowen’s experience in the NFL informs his journalism. We’re not drafting Matt Bowen to play. The point is that NFL players are not finished products. Position coaches and coordinators, need to teach. Marinelli is a great example. He gets more out of what he has than the next guy, because he teaches them how to be better. Bears have talent on their roster that has not been developed.

        • SC Dave

          That has been my beef with the Bears offense for a long time, especially the WR coaches. There’s a reason Mushin called Chicago the place where receivers go to die.

          • Big Mike

            That and bad QBs 🙂 But Lovie had no ability to build a strong offensive coaching staff, combined with whiffs in the first round on two OL (Chris Williams/Carimi), the Bears could never get started. Tice did everything he could to make a 7th rounder Webb, serviceable. He did everything he could to salvage Williams.. the move to Guard saved his career. Carimi was just a terrible pick. Bears could never recover from those terrible OL picks. Had those guys performed up to their draft position, we’d have a very good veteran core, with Long on the way up, would have saved a bajillion dollars on Slauson and Bushrod.

          • Scott W.

            Yes. Rex. Grossman.

        • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

          To further your point, to think a guy coming out of college has nothing to learn is absurd. So you played two or three years of college ball where your skill set dominated? To play well at the highest level requires a mastery of technique. Seems to me, teaching at the pro level would be of the utmost importance because everyone in the NFL has great talent.

          • Irish Sweetness

            And you’d be shocked to realize how many of them still can’t measure the area beneath a curve, Doc. Or maybe not …

          • Scott W.

            NBIT told me he once had some of Jim Tressel’s players as students, and said it was sad.
            As far as football IQ, even the great Peyton Manning had a LOT to learn when he got to the NFL, and he’ll be the first to tell you that.

      • BerwynBomber

        So one has to have competed at high level in NFL to say something insightful about the league or coaching or playing? What an inane, narrow-minded dismissal of potentially valuable information.

        • Anonymous Yahoo Poster

          Bomber read my post again and check yourself. Bowen offers pretty good insight as a beat reporter/analyst and I have no problem with him doing that. Its when you have Matt Bowen quality talent on the field vs a more talented opposition that the coaching becomes a moot point. Hence what mike brown said about the subject. Jesus dude if I said the fucking. Sky was blue you and the 3 other horsemen would try to refute it

          • CanadaBear

            And then mention something about Cutler’s contract and TO’s.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    Vic Fangio-Kyle Shanahan would be, without any doubt in my mind the best and perfect coordinator combination the Bears could have.

    I think is clearly outclasses the Dennis Allen-Adam Gase pairing just by pure individual value and history, but the margin becomes that much more large if you analyze the Bears personnel and scheme fit.

    • Big Mike

      Both are huge upgrades. Fangio-Shanahan might be a bit of a long shot now.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        One can dream.

        They’re still on the market. Pace-Fox are free to ‘close’ them. Plus… signing one would convince the other.

        They’re perfect for a run first O – play D team.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Hands up who likes plays? When’s the last time anyone here was at a play that wasn’t full of nervous 8 year olds? We have moving pictures now. They’re awesome. Plays got replace by something way way better. Books cannot be replaced. Henry Miller not Arthur Miller. Plays are more for the people that put them on, than the ones paying top dollar out front. Yay or nay? That’s what I felt whenever I was at the theatre. For the people sitting down, it’s more about where they’re going afterwards, fr the people on and behind stage, it’s everything.

    ‘Birdman’ is a good look at stage tomfoolery BTW. Keaton still rocks.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Yay Coach Fox. Go Bears.

    • Johnnywad

      We take our kids to one a year. I hate them. So does my son. I still think its a good idea to get them in the theater and remind them, the world is full of “stuff” beyond what your iPhone and TV can bring you. If left to their own devices, most kids in their teens would kill most of their down time staring at one electronic device or another. Can’t let that happen.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      I’m not a huge fan. ‘My thing’ is watching a play rehearsal, rather than the play itself. It’s the combination of following the play itself and the relationship between the characters mixed with the relationship between the actors which is a play in it’s own right.

      It’s the combination of the fictive and the real. That’s my thing. It has a fetishist aura, I won’t negate that.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Yeah! My dad used to write and appear in competitive amateur variety shows and he’d bring me along to the rehearsals. I was only small, but I could tell everyone loved it and it was a lot of fun. Plays are a different beast though. Ed Norton portrays the creative angst very well in ‘Birdman’. There’s a good line in it where a girl asks him how he goes out there every night pretending to be someone else. He replies “I pretend everywhere else, out there is the only place I don’t pretend.”

        I’d love to see Keaton and Bill Murray do something together.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          I’m not familiar whit these guys, but I’ll give you this…the ideal is watching the rehearsal and then the play itself.

          My point was that if I’ve had to chose one or the other, I’d chose the rehearsal. I need that insight on who the actor really is. I’m always dubious on getting excited about what a dude does…what if he’ll a real piece of shit ?

    • Bender McLugh

      a good play is hard to find, but when you are lucky enough to find one it’s a great experience and one that cannot be fully replicated on the big screen. Steppenwolf has some good ones.

    • BearDown100393

      I watched Trestman’s Opera this fall. It sucked.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Fat lady sang way too early in his works.

    • Trac

      All the world’s a stage?

      • Irish Sweetness

        Ah, Elvis Shakespeare ….

        • Trac

          We are the puppets?……

          • Irish Sweetness

            And the 2014 Bears were the muppets …

    • CanadaBear

      I haven’t been to any big stage productions but I have enjoyed small productions when the plays were about more than song and dance hooey. The big productions to me are the same as movie musicals. Beyond dreadful. When it comes to show tunes literally the only men I’ve ever known that liked them were gay. NTT … you know the rest. Anytime I’m watching a movie and people start singing out of the blue … good night. I guess if you’re a big fan of the songs it would be acceptable but I’m not. To me, show tunes are a bit like rap/hip-hop, tons and tons of words with no melody. Nothing against anyone that likes either type of music, it’s just not my cup of tea.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I have a confession. I was brought up on musicals. My dad was preparing to play Tony in West Side Story when he went down with tuberculosis. I loved all that shit. Singing in the rain, Donald O’Connor, Gene Kelly …. I still walk into classes singing ‘Good Morning’ by Debbie Reynolds. I just downloaded ‘A chorus line’ for the twins, but they’re not quite there yet.

        And I love Judy Garland and Barry Manilow’s stuff from the seventies …… Priscilla queen of the desert … wait …. I’M A SCREAMING HOMOSEXUAL !!!

        NTTAWWT.

        Ahem. See the Bears game last night?

        • CanadaBear

          Well now I know 1 straight guy that likes musicals! It makes sense since your dad was part of the theater company. Of all the dance numbers I’ve ever seen this one is my favorite. It features the Nicholas Brothers dancing and Cab Calloway and his orchestra. It’s from the movie Stormy Weather. When they come down the stairs the first time, my legs hurt just watching it.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Well, he was for some reason drawn to the country with the highest transvestite population in the world (NTTAWWT).

          • CanadaBear

            WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Irish Sweetness

            I’ve always said the best looking women in Thailand are men.

            I have to hand it to the Thais for their tolerance and equality. Only in Thailand can you be an OTT ridiculous looking tranny and still get a job in 711.

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            By the way, last I heard you were moving your twins back to the Land of Ire. Whatever happened with that?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Change of heart, man. No ready made career path for me there, and bailing out the banks has ruined the country for the forseeable. I’m doing a post-grad in Education online right now so I can make more money, get a better situation where I can get the kids in to a good school for free. That’s about the only perk to being a teacher – free education for your kids. Right now the kids are in kindergarten 30 to a room all watching TV. SMH.

            Education is the way brah! And I’ve noticed those with doctorates have it cushty. Are you publishing, or do you have it sweet?

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            Part of me wishes I was still doing active research.,there’s nothing like puzzling over a problem for months on end. But I can do without the stress and it’s really really hard as you might imagine. I enjoy teaching, it suits my skill set. I do have it pretty cush, all except for the low pay. But my job is great. All the vacation time… I do miss the personal challenge of doing research though.

          • Shady

            Two former college roommates, both logicians, meet at a conference after many years without contact. While catching up, the two eventually get around to discussing their children. The first logician asks the second how many children he has, and what their ages are. The second replies that he has 3 children, but (ever the logician) he will only reveal clues about their ages. The first logician must deduce for himself the ages of the second’s children.

            “First,” says the logician, “the product of my children’s ages is 36.”

            “Second, the sum of their ages is the same as our apartment number in college.”

            “Third, my oldest child has red hair.”

            Upon hearing the third clue, the first logician replies at once with the ages of his friend’s children. What are they? How do you know?

          • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

            You got me. Doesn’t seem solvable unless you know what the first logician knows.

          • Shady

            Well played Nitty, well played.

          • Irish Sweetness

            And that is how we do that, gentlemen.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            ages are 2, 2 and 9.

            8 possibilities according 1st rule

            (1,1,36)(1,2,18)(1,3,12)(1,4,9)(1,6,6)(2,2,9)(2,3,6)(3,3,4)

            sums based on 2nd clue
            1+1+36=38
            1+2+18=21
            1+3+12=16
            1+4+9=14
            1+6+6=13
            2+2+9=13
            2+3+6=11
            3+3+4=10

            since it was not evident after this 2nd clue what the ages were we can assume it is either (1,6,6) or (2,2,9) since those 2 options have the same sums

            the 3rd clue says there is an ‘Oldest’ child so we can assume that the ages are 2, 2 and 9. also making the assumption that by oldest it means by date not including a time element, like the actual time the kids popped out of his wife.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Low pay???? Dude. Really? So you do you have to publish a lot and make Prof before the cash appears?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Dey don’t make em like dat no more.

            And C-Bear embedding like it ain’t no thang …

          • AlbertInTucson

            The Nicholas Bros. Amazing.

            Donald O’Conner’s “Make ’em Laugh” number in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is nothing to sneeze at, either.

    • Scott W.

      I really like plays that are character driven, with compelling story lines. It’s a much more intimate venue, and if the actors are good, they connect with the audience on a more visceral level than the best movie.
      Dialogue and its delivery is, to me, nearly everything. While movies are often written and performed well in this regard, nothing beats stage actors fully invested in their role. Nothing.
      I do hate musicals, regardless of the venue. I don’t want someone singing me their story. Ugh.
      Most of the plays I enjoy that fall within my interest bracket are considered off-Broadway.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I logged back in to apologize to actors and playwrights. I’ve been to plenty of plays, and enjoyed some of them … but where the actors are playing to the fourth wall – it feels like that as an audience member. We’re just a wall. It’s the actors having fun. It’s the buzz backstage. There’s no buzz in the audience. It’s almost like being in a room watching two people having sex. They’re naked, you’re in a dinner suit.

        I wonder what Jefe feels about the audience. Do you write a play for yourself, the actors, or the audience?

        • Scott W.

          Can I guess his answer? If he’s good, he writes for story. The audience will come if it’s good. He has to have the right actors to tell his story, and bring his vision of it to life.
          That, or he just does it for the free limo rides.

        • Scott W.

          Your 4th wall comment is spot on too. I’ve been to a few where the actors were either too enamored of themselves or bored. Both failures are glaringly obvious to the audience.

        • Bender McLugh

          Casa Rosa in Amsterdam was fun.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I was too busy in cafes to go to those places! What a town.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Haven’t been to a play in a while. Last one I say was the road show of LES MISERABLES” that came to town. An excellent production.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Ah, Les Mis, worth it just to hear this …

        This guy used to sit out on his window sill singing with his brothers on the road where my old man lived. Once a show off ….

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    I don’t know how much Kubiak to Denver changes the Shanahan situation.

    I think Shanahan is at the level where he’ll want to run his own offense rather than Kubiak’s offense.

    In Chicago he would have total control. That wouldn’t happen in Denver from up to 2 sides, depending on what Manning does.

    • DaBearsBlog

      He would not be taking the Denver job. He’d be taking the Baltimore job.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        Ohhh…yeah… that’s something that slipped my mind as a possibility. In that case you’re right. That job is twice more enticing than the Bears one.

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    Good read Jefe. But to continue with your analogy (metaphor?) it seems to me that neither a comedy nor a tragedy would be good. Is there a third option?

    • Johnnywad

      A heartwarming, feel good romp?

    • Irish Sweetness

      A Homerian Epic. The Lombardi is our Golden Fleece ?

      • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

        However you categorize Braveheart on stage, that’s what I want to see. I want them to fight like warrior poets. Or maybe Tombstone. (Forgive me I don’t know plays). Jay will be Doc Holiday with his cig between his lips, eyes pierced, gunslinging to immortality.

        • Irish Sweetness

          With 124 million on the table in front of him ….

        • Johnnywad

          I’m your Huckleberry.

        • AlbertInTucson

          As long as it’s not “Waiting for Godot”.

      • Jack Lacan

        Has to be one of the very rare all-time Classical Literary references here.
        Thanks.
        How about those Argonauts!!!

        • Irish Sweetness

          Go Argonauts!

  • John Doe

    Fangio is in the mix for DC. I like this..

    ESPN reported the Bears have requested permission to meet with 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-john-fox-arrival-brite-bears-spt-0117-bears-20150116-story.html

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      A real coup. I’m trying to continue on my patient ,adult, serious stance, but when there’s Fangio talk it becomes really, really difficult.

      I want Vic Fangio. He’s astounding.

      • John Doe

        According to Jeremy Stoltz of Bear Report Vic Fangio is the front runner for DC job right now.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          I don’t trust anybody with their reporting.

          I surely fucking hope so.

          • Shady

            It bothers me I’m agreeing with you this much.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            I’ll give you ID number 1.233 in my fan club…Hitler style.

          • Shady

            See? What’s wrong with you?

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            That was an awesome joke, man.

            Hitler started counting his party members from the hundreds up… to give the impression there were a lot of them, instead of a handful of wankers.

          • Scott W.

            In the spirit of MB30SD…”You guys wanna know a secret? I almost never read what BARB writes”.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Dear Vic: If you DO come to Chicago, please bring all your linebackers with you with you.

      • Shady

        And lineman and safeties.

        • AlbertInTucson

          I didn’t want to seem piggish.

          • Shady

            Wouldn’t mind Pot Roast either.

  • LeeRoy

    You have a typo with two consecutive a’s you could quickly fix. Just letting you know. Also, I’m not certain that the first sentence makes much sense.

    “The best I’ve ever been taught the three-act structure of playwriting was by a a wonderful writer and teacher named Pat Cook at the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. ”

    Huh? You were you’ve been taught the three-act structure of playwriting multiple times but that particular time, you were taught it the best? That’s how that sentence reads. It’s odd.

    • GPLDAN

      • EnderWiggin

        I’m a sucker for this vid. Every time I see a link to it, I watch in its entirety.

      • Johnnywad

        What. The. Fuck. Was. That?

      • Irish Sweetness

        MWAH!!! That’s hilarious.

        So this guy is a meme on the internet? He was on Stern :

    • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

      Are you fucking serious, Leeeeroy?

      • Johnnywad

        Can’t be real. No way.

    • EnderWiggin

      He’s a playwright… When your studies and career revolve around drama you get lessons from your first college course to your last essay in independent studies.

    • Scott W.

      Keep a copy of Strunk & White’s next to you at all times.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Elements of style, Stephen King swears by it, bless his cotton socks.

        • Scott W.

          Did you read the one book he wrote on writing? It was better than every horror tome he ever wrote.

    • Shady

      Makes perfect sense to me.

    • burntorangenavyblue

      I have a degree in English and I am not giving a rats’ ass about Jeff’s grammar….why? Because it is about execution and what message he wants to convey by combining two things he loves into one and that’s the beauty of it.

      • Johnnywad

        Good. Can you help me understand this sentence, taken from Leeroy’s post? “You were you’ve been taught the three-act structure of playwriting multiple times but that particular time, you were taught it the best?”

        Since we’re fixing stuff, I wanna know what that means.

      • Scott W.

        You have an English degree? Awesome. Didn’t know that.
        Did you spend a lot of time on etymology, or is that another discipline?

  • Jack Lacan

    Jeff – Thanks for photos of Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller — Isn’t Act III where the gun appears?
    Biff

  • willbest

    Fox uses a different 4-3 than Lovie/Tucker, and the Bears currently do not have any of the 330lb 2-gap DTs that he likes to use.

    It will be interesting to see if they ask Ego/Sutton to put on 10-15 pounds. Willie Young does seem to be the type of edge rusher that would thrive in such a system though with his injury he might not do so well till middle of next season.

    Expect the entire bottom half of the D-line to be different next year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the only people left in the back 7 are Vereen, Fuller, Jones, Bostic, and Jennings.

    • Big Mike

      Bears have traditionally been a 4-3 over front. This puts DTs in 3 technique on the strong side and the other DT in a weak side 1 technique. In an 4-3 under it’s strong side 1 technique, weak side 3 technique. 4-3 under is more of a run alignment than a 4-3 over.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      Tucker used different DL scheme this year. Had nothing to do with anything Lovie did.

      Kinighton is a FA.Plus Ratliff, Ego, Sutton. That would be a solid, solid DT corp.

      • willbest

        Just looking at the setup in Denver. They ran with 2 really big DTs (330 and 315 lbs) and a 285 DE on oneside with a 250 DE pass rusher on the other and blitzed a lot from the SLB position.

        Lord help me if Shea makes an appearance as a poor man’s Von Miller.

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Jones is the man at SLB or maybe a high draft pick. Shea is gone, because Pace isn’t stupid.. he’ll get rid of the icon of Emery’s failure.

          If they bring Fangio he’ll do his thing, not Fox’s. Fangio is dope.

        • AlbertInTucson

          A little troubling that the “We couldn’t run the ball all season” Colts wont r last week because they WERE able to run the ball in Denver…?

          • willbest

            Not really considering, you know, they stopped wasting 10-12 carries a game by benching Richardson.

        • Irish Sweetness

          I love that Coach Fox drafted Pep and Von Miller with his first picks. Is Randy Gregory his man now?

        • Scott W.

          Shea…the draft mistake that just won’t go away.
          Seems like there are always a few players that remain in the lineup around the league that are like that guy in cubicle #7. He never does any work, but the bosses don’t notice.

    • Thisguy_justsaid

      I hope that’s exactly what Fox does to this DLine. Two big DTs cramming the middle will give this d some kind of identity. Really that’s what our d needs. We need identity and I pray Fox does this. I don’t even know that defense. Can’t even call it Bears d anymore

      • willbest

        Our D-line functioned fine this past season. It was substantially better against the run (112.5 yards allowed/g vs. 161 last year). And despite the fact that our LBs and safeties couldn’t cover a statue for 2.2 seconds, it still managed to be in the middle of the pack in terms of QB pressure

        I am not saying I don’t trust Fox to change it, just pointing out that the line that got remade over last year needs to get remade over again to fit his style. And then we have the problems at LB, safety, and OT to address, in addition to finding a long term replacement at Center.

    • I’ve been calling fir one of those fat boys and a power runner for a few seasons now. Maybe we finally get both and change the dynamic

      • willbest

        Trent Richardson will be available for league min. next year.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Yup. Mayhem in the center of the line. It’s amazing that it needs to become a new ‘defensive philosophy’. SMH.

  • RenoBear

    Titans deny Bears request to interview Mularkey. I laugh when I see stuff like this. Titans, you have no offensive talent, Mularkey can only help you so much… Let him go

    • Shady

      I’m considering that a bullet dodged.

      • RenoBear

        I can see that. I wasn’t thrilled when his name came up either. Im still hoping for Little Shanny… I figure he can get advice from his Dad on how to deal with Cutler

        • Shady

          I’d be OK with Kyle Shannhan over most of the other candidates.

      • Trac

        Just because he tanked as a HC doesn’t mean he is a bad OC. Does it?

  • Trac
    • CanadaBear

      That is really a sad statement about this guy’s life.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      good for him. He’ll become a legend.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Oh yeah. That will make a GREAT epitaph.

    • Irish Sweetness

      “Police said in both cases other patrons appeared nonchalant about the deaths, continuing playing even when tables were cordoned off for investigators to gather evidence.”

      Hardcore.

      • Trac

        It’s a beautiful world ain’t it!

  • Irish Sweetness

    ‘Mandy’ by Barry Manilow turned 40 on Friday.

    Isn’t that just FABULOUS ?

  • Irish Sweetness

    Hey, yesterday that dance video that C-Bear posted was appearing as a n embedded video, not a link. Now it’s just a link. What happened there? Huh? Huh?

    • CanadaBear

      It looked to be just a link to me. There was one last week that someone else posted that did the same thing.

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