Sign and Develop Seems to Be John Fox’s Way

fox-bears-850x560Bears head coach John Fox comments on the current state of the roster. Via Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune:

“‘We have a lot of needs,’ Fox said Saturday night at the NFL owners meeting. ‘There are still a lot of green rectangles on a board. There are still two pools of players. There are still a lot of guys left in (secondary) free agency, which I prefer dealing with anyways, not the jump-out-in-front (signings). When you get it going good, you don’t have to do that.'”

Fox’s assersion that he’d rather deal with players from the secondary free agent market rather than the “jump-out-in-front” signings is an interesting one. A general manager obviously would be interested in not over-paying for talent, which its generally accepted that teams do in the first days of free agency. Certainly, at minimum, there’s no value there.

But not many coaches would tell you that they prefer secondary free agents. Many might have been banging on Bears general manager Ryan Pace‘s office door demanding high priced free agent signings. In theory they provide a proven ability to win now on the field that makes a coach look good. To those coaches, the salary cap isn’t something they need to worry about. It’s the general manager’s business. But Fox is likely actually working hand-in-hand with Pace and, in this case, might well share his concerns about the salary cap and getting good value for the dollar. Fox is part of the organizational team and shares the high level view that Pace has.

Secondly and, I think perhaps more important, a good coach might well rather deal with players who haven’t yet shown that they’ve done it before. It’s an opportunity to develop and maximize previously untapped talent. It’s a challenge. It’s nice to know that the Bears have a head coach and, presumably, a staff that relishes the opportunity to do that. And if they relish that opportunity, it’s because they think that they’re good at it.

That’s a comforting thought for any Bears fan.

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