MINNEAPOLIS -- Three years ago, almost to the day, then-Bears head coach Marc Trestman faced reporters at a podium after a cold afternoon spent losing a road game to the Minnesota Vikings. He seemed resigned to his fate after two non-winning seasons in Chicago. Sure enough, the next day he was dismissed, and the Bears hired John Fox to take his place.
On Sunday, after a bitterly cold afternoon spent losing a road game to the Minnesota Vikings, Fox stood at a podium, briefly, and seemed resigned to his fate as the future ex-coach of the Bears.
"As I told those guys, I think there are good coaches in that locker room, there's good guys," said Fox, whose record with the Bears fell to 14-34 in three seasons after the Bears' 23-10 loss in Minnesota. "Obviously they need some pieces added, but I really feel for everybody in there, there will be better days moving forward."
Asked about his future with the team, and when he would talk to general manager Ryan Pace, Fox had nothing to add.
"Look, I'm here, the league makes me be here to talk about this game," he said. "That's what I'll keep it to, and anything after that, I'll keep you posted."
And with that, he exited the media room, a mere 74 seconds after he had entered, with no more to add about the game, or his future -- either in Chicago or elsewhere. Fox led his previous two teams -- the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos -- to the Super Bowl. It is a level of success he has come nowhere close to replicating in Chicago. Still, Bears players say he hasn't lost the locker room.
"My relationship won't change with him. He's still my coach," said Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, who first played for Fox in Denver and then in Chicago. "When I came into the league, he was the first one. We can't control what happens out there. I know he's a great coach, and whatever he does, he'll be good at it."
For whatever reason, it hasn't worked in Chicago, where the Bears have gone 6-10, 3-13 and 5-11 in Fox's three seasons. In 2017, they were 0-6 vs. the NFC North, marking the franchise's first winless season in their division in nearly 50 years. All of that, despite the promise of rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who Chicago picked second overall in last spring's draft.
"He's been great to all of us, and that's something that you want, is somebody that's got your back, no matter what," said Trubisky, who added that Fox's message after the game sounded more like the end of the season than a farewell.
Bears management should make the final call on that soon.