Brian Urlacher

John Fox Introduced As Bears Head Coach

John Fox was officially introduced as the Bears head coach this morning. He was introduced by the man who hired him, new general manager Ryan Pace.

Here are a few highlights from his press conference, all links via Twitter:

  • Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes that Fox commented on his relationship with Pace, saying that the Bears will be a “we” business.
  • Fox hasn’t spoken with quarterback Jay Cutler directly, but mentioned that the embattled quarterback texted him to welcome him to Chicago, writes Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Campbell also writes that Fox is not revisiting what happened with him in Denver, instead preferring to look forward to his future with the Bears.
  • Since being hired, Fox has put all of his energy into the process of hiring his new staff, writes Michael C. Wright of Expanding on that point, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes that Fox has not examined the roster as of yet.
  • Fox has not yet decided whether the Bears will play a 3-4 or a 4-3 for their base defense, according to Wright.
  • When asked about his input on the offense, Fox remarked “As a head coach, my job is to motivate and manage the football team,” according to Campbell.
  • When it comes to current members of the Bears coaching staff, Fox has not decided whether or not he will be retaining their services, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.comWright does note that they are pursuing candidates to fill their staff.
  • The one assistant that has signed a contract is special teams coach Jeff Rodgers, who Fox says is already in Halas Hall preparing for next season, according to Biggs.
  • Discussing his age, Fox scoffs at the idea that he is too old to be a longtime coach in Chicago, writes Dickerson“I’m very healthy. I’m very energetic. I stay away from mirrors. I truly feel 36,” said Fox according to Campbell. A number of reporters including Biggs thought they heard he stays away from beers, not mirrors.
  • When asked about what type of quarterback Fox wants in Chicago, he simply stated “one that wins,” writes Dickerson. Cutler’s record under Marc Trestman was a dismal 10-16. “I know everybody makes a big deal about the quarterback, and I get that, but it’s still a team game,” said Fox, according to Campbell.
  • Discussing who would have the final say on roster decisions, Fox believed it will be a group effort, according to Campbell“If we have a building full of good evaluators…typically you come to the same conclusion,” said Fox.
  • Speaking on the offensive coordinator search, Fox said, “We will hire an outstanding offensive coordinator. We’re not going to predict how he does. We’re just going to go do it,” according to Biggs.
  • Fox also noted he planned on reaching out to two legends of the organization to bring them back in the fold. One is potential Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, according to Dickerson, and Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka, according to Biggs.

NFC Notes: Hester, Urlacher, Sproles

In an interview with WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show, Lions tailback Reggie Bush said that embattled Vikings running back Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play football, writes’s Marc Sessler. “Adrian Peterson, I’ve known for a while, and he’s a good guy,” Bush said. “... I don’t know all the details of the situation what happened, but I know me and like a lot of other guys who were born in the ’80s, and even before then, were raised differently and disciplined differently. And I was one of those kids. I got what we called ‘whoopings,’ whooped with belts and stuff like that. For me, growing up, it was normal. And not to say, not to try to downplay the situation at all, I think that this is genuine, and obviously, I’m sure there’s no ill intent against his own son.” More from the NFC..

  • Coach Lovie Smith definitely wanted Devin Hester in Tampa but the money situation simply didn’t work out in the Bucs‘ favor, tweets Vaughn McClure of (on Twitter). The former Bears standout wound up signing with the Falcons this offseason.
  • Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher resigned his job as a broadcaster job at FOX Sports 1 Tuesday and the Bucs have an injury to starting middle linebacker Mason Foster. Some may be wondering if Urlacher would be a fit for Tampa Bay but if it does happen, it won’t be this week, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. The Bucs plan to go with backup middle linebacker Dane Fletcher in Thursday night’s game at Atlanta.
  • Former Eagles president Joe Banner tweeted that he tried to sign Darren Sproles when he a free agent after his time with the Chargers. However, the speedy tailback badly wanted to reunite with Drew Brees in New Orleans and wound up with the Saints. Sproles’ presence in Philadelphia years earlier might have made a big difference for the team, Banner writes.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap gives his thoughts on Robert Quinn‘s extension with the Rams. The contract is similar to what Fitzgerald envisioned for J.J. Watt initially – it underpays him for his production, but it gives him a window for another mega-contract in just a few years. Quinn also gets a decent guarantee package from St. Louis.
  • The Peterson case shows a lack of leadership on the NFL’s part, writes Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press. The Vikings said they’ll let things play out in court for the running back but Powers notes that defensive back Chris Cook, cornerback A.J. Jefferson, and running back Caleb King were never given the same benefit of the doubt when they were in hot water.

NFC East Notes: Urlacher, Cowboys, Giants

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he won’t be signing free agent linebacker Brian Urlacher to fill the void left by Sean Lee‘s injury, writes Calvin Watkins of From the sound of things, Dallas won’t be doing anything right away. “We’re working through it,” said Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ executive vice president. “I mean obviously we’re not playing football games tomorrow and we’re not going to training camp tomorrow. We’re just taking a long hard look at anything.” More out of the NFC East..

  • Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent is scheduled to be released from jail within the next two months and team COO Stephen Jones says he wouldn’t rule out bringing back the 26-year-old, according to a staff report from the Dallas Morning News. In January, Brent was sentenced to ten years probation for his 2012 drunken-driving crash that killed teammate, Jerry Brown Jr. Brent played in 39 games for the Cowboys between 2010 and 2012, recording 44 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
  • Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith will be a free agent after 2015 but he’s not focusing on an extension, writes Todd Archer of Smith will earn $10.039MM in ’15 after Dallas exercised his fifth-year option. Still 23, the promising tackle figures to cash in on his next deal.
  • The Giants signed safety Kyle Sebetic, an undrafted free agent out of Dayton, to take Will Hill‘s place on the 90-man roster, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. Speaking of Hill, Vacchiano adds (link) that he officially cleared waivers and is now a free agent.

Cowboys Considering Urlacher, Vilma

In the wake of Sean Lee‘s season-ending ACL injury, the Cowboys are weighing their options at the linebacker position, which includes eyeing some veteran free agents. According to Ed Werder of (via Twitter), Dallas is evaluating Brian Urlacher and Jonathan Vilma, among others. Regarding Urlacher, Werder adds (via Twitter) that nothing is imminent, but that the former Bear “took notice” when Lee went down and a hole opened up in the Cowboys’ starting lineup.

Urlacher and Vilma are a couple of the more notable names available on a free agent market that also includes linebackers like Pat Angerer and Dan Connor. Still, even if the Cowboys decide to add one of those free agents, that player wouldn’t be relied upon to fill Lee’s role himself — Werder notes that the club figures to use a two-man platoon.

It’s also possible that the Cowboys will simply elect to roll with their in-house options. Although the team has watched tape and evaluated guys like Urlacher and Vilma, a Dallas source tells Werder that the Cowboys don’t have a ton of interest in either player (Twitter link). We’ll have to wait and see if that’s a smokescreen or an indication that the club will pass on veteran free agents.