Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times recalls covering the Raiders in 1996. New Bears head coach John Fox quit as the defensive coordinator late in the exhibition season after an apparent dispute with owner Al Davis. This one should make Bears fans feel a little better about last season’s version of their team. A little.
“If you thought the 2014 Bears were rife with dysfunction, you should’ve seen the Raiders in the mid-1990s. Strange seasons, such as the one the Bears endured in 2014, were the norm for them.
“Davis’ bizarre leadership created paranoia so profound that [the Raiders head coach Mike] White refused to identify the person responsible for calling offensive plays. He insisted plays were called by committee, with himself, offensive coordinator Jim Fassel and offensive line coach Joe Bugel all offering input before a call was made prior to the play clock expiring.
“Yeah, right. I was a beat reporter covering the team that season. By midseason, I would ask Fassel to comment about the weather because it was the only subject he could discuss without fear of repercussion. His daily weather updates became a running joke.”
In all seriousness, I’m starting to worry about Fox’s apparent penchant for clashing with high level organizational employees. At least his parting with the Broncos was apparently more amicable.
Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times addresses the topic:
“… Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway seemingly questioned Fox’s desire to win after the sides parted ways last week.
“Fox’s peculiar departure from the Broncos raises a red flag. Coaches with 46-18 regular-season records and four division titles in the last four seasons don’t get the boot often.”
Technically, Elway didn’t question Fox’s desire to win. He questioned the team’s fire. When describing Fox he used words like “tenacious”.
Still, its noticeable that the quotes in the articles in local newspapers have mostly come from players in Fox’s days with Carolina. In fact, I can’t remember a single one from a current Bronco. It does make one wonder what went on there. In that regard, this article from Hub Arkush at chicagofootball.com where he details reports from the Denver media is worth a read.
Bottom line, here’s hoping he and Bears general manager Ryan Pace remain on the same page.