Watch CBS News

John Fox: 'Not Afraid Or Intimidated'

(CBS) After two years of leadership under the timid and recently fired Marc Trestman, the Bears organization found out Monday that there will be a new attitude permeating Halas Hall with the hire of John Fox as their new coach.

"I'm brutally honest," Fox said at his introductory press conference. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I'm not afraid or intimidated to tell people the truth."

Fox comes to Chicago after four years in Denver, where he led the Broncos to four consecutive AFC West titles and compiled a 46-18 mark in the regular season. Fox mutually parted ways with Denver last Monday after he and general manager John Elway differed in their vision of leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl, with Elway saying the team didn't go out "kicking and screaming" in the playoffs. Twice in the past three seasons, Denver fell as a heavy home favorite in the divisional round, including a Jan. 11 loss to Indianapolis.

On Friday, he was officially hired as the Bears' 15th coach in franchise history. His job is to turn around a team that went 5-11 in 2014, and he made clear that, "I'm looking forward to this challenge."

Still, Fox stopped short of offering any timeline for winning with a Bears roster that has a dearth of young talent. Before his Denver tenure, Fox helped turn around Carolina in nine years as a coach there. He's one of six coaches to lead two teams to the Super Bowl.

"I've always been of the thoughts of 'understate and overproduce,'" Fox said when asked how close the roster is to competing for the NFC North title and a Super Bowl. "I've never predicted records. If I could do that, I'd be at a race track somewhere. I haven't gotten that far in evaluating. I can just say that we in the past have made pretty good jumps, so we're looking to do that. I can't predict exactly how fast and when that will happen, but I just believe that it will."

Fox hasn't made final decisions on most of his coaching staff. The Bears currently have a vacant offensive coordinator position, and while defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is still under contract, Chicago has been looking at new individuals for that spot as well. The Bears have been linked to former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio already.

Fox has met with all but two Bears assistants since he was hired and talked to all of them, he said.

The Bears did officially hire Jeff Rodgers as their new special teams coordinator Monday morning. Rodgers spent the past four seasons with Fox in Denver.

"It's a fluid process," Fox said. "We're going to try to locate the best human talent there is … coaches and players."

Fox largely sidestepped a question about big-money quarterback Jay Cutler's future, saying he hadn't talked – only texted – with Cutler, who led the NFL in turnovers in 2014. Asked what he wants in a quarterback, Fox responded, "One that wins."

"I've had different ones," Fox said. "They're just like any other position from the standpoint of what you're looking for – decision-making, executing their job, what to do, how to do it, executing under pressure. That's what we do. That translates to every position in my opinion."

Schematically, Fox isn't committed to a 4-3 or 3-4 defensively. He's predominantly used a 4-3 look in the past.

Fox also intends to reach out to Bears icons such as Mike Ditka and Brian Urlacher, he said.

In regards to whether the Bears will keep mercurial receiver Brandon Marshall, new general manager Ryan Pace said of an impending decision, "That's coming."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.