John Fox laid out the NFL reality that there would be changes in his coaching staff after a 3-13 season. In the day since the final loss, at Minnesota, four coaches have exited, for different reasons, but coming with interesting possible implications.
Exact details of any personnel move, staff or player, are difficult to ascertain.
Running backs coach Stan Drayton, whose career goal is to become a college head coach, left to join the staff at Texas. Outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, who was blocked by the Bears from considering a move to the Miami Dolphins and coach Adam Gase last offseason, passed on a contract extension from the Bears and is on the market. The Dolphins, who are at Pittsburgh on Sunday in one AFC wild-card playoff game, hired Matt Burke last January to coach linebackers after Hurtt was unavailable.
Fox said on Tuesday that his coordinators remained “intact” but the organization did not retain assistant secondary coach Sam Garnes, who played safety five seasons under Fox while the latter was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. Garnes was an assistant DB’s coach under Fox in Denver, and he coached safeties there from 2011-14 and with the Bears the past two seasons.
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But Garnes was not a choice of coordinator Vic Fangio, who was not pleased with safety play during seasons marked by the two lowest takeaway totals in franchise history, including tying the NFL record for fewest takeaways with 11 this season.
Over Garnes’ two years working with safeties, the group had just two interceptions (both by Harold Jones-Quartey), four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in a total of 1,992 opponent plays.
The Bears also fired offensive line coach Dave Magazu, who oversaw a generally successful season that saw the Bears tied for seventh in fewest sacks allowed and No. 6 in rushing average. Magazu had coached with Fox since 2003, in Carolina, Denver and finally Chicago.