LAKE FOREST, Ill. – We won’t hear much from John Fox until players arrive in Bourbonnais, Illinois, late next month, but the 60-year old Bears coach did recently reflect on his first offseason program in Chicago before embarking on the NFL’s annual vacation period prior to training camp.
Have you been able to establish the right environment throughout the offseason? “I think we’ve made progress. We’re by no means there yet. We’ve made a lot of changes, upstairs, downstairs, throughout the building. I think the guys have responded well. Guys have bought in and worked hard and that’s all I can ask.”
Do you wish the coaches had more time with players in the offseason? “I've always been an advocate of the offseason, but I think at times in our league in my experience we've gone a little overboard. So I think there's a happy medium. I think you can wear guys down, wear guys out. I kind of like some of the new rules. Some of them upset me because we kind of did some of them anyways and now people have to do it. I think you can overwork players as well. I feel good about where it is. I feel good about the work we got done. This is the first time as a new staff that we got the extra minicamp. Four years ago, when I went to Denver, it was the lockout, so we were a new staff and didn't get that opportunity and we're still able to have some success.
How do you plan to unwind during the down period before camp? “Just relax. Get some quality time with my family. I used to tell people what I did but then it would be in the newspaper. No, we'll just be, some nice quality time with the family.”
After watching the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, do you have a sense of what a Super Bowl championship would mean to the city of Chicago? “Well, you know, this game is only fun when you win. My hat's off to coach [Joel] Quenneville, everybody, the organization. I was able to go there three times in a playoff atmosphere and see what they've captured there, and there's no doubt deep down inside you hope to re-create that. That's what we aspire to be. Those are things you look and learn; it doesn't really matter what sport. It does tell you a lot about Chicago and its sports fans. I kind of knew of that having competed here, so again, hat's off to what they've accomplished and surely that's something we want to accomplish with the Bears organization."
Will the team be healthy for training camp? “It's just like the 53-man roster. These guys understand that they pick the team. It's how they perform. How they practice. How they're evaluated. It's what to do, how to do, do it under pressure. So we'll try and create that the best we can at camp as we ready for the season, and where that's going to take us I'm not sure. But I've been very pleased with how they've gone about their business up to date.”