Fox goes from a Peyton Manning-led Super Bowl contender to a rebuilding project with questions under center in Jay Cutler. The coach's first priority, though, is fixing a defense that trailed only the Raiders in points allowed per game in 2014. This shattered side of the ball is in need of leadership and warm bodies after putting the Bears in a hole on a weekly basis all autumn.
Rapoport noted that Fox might be in competition to hire assistants with his former defensive coordinator and new Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. The Chicago Tribune reported that Fox might ultimately tap Kyle Shanahan to lead the offense, which makes sense considering the play-caller's fondness for Jay Cutler.
Still, too many talented coaches have lost jobs trying to milk success out of Cutler, who is under the gun after signing a seven-year, $126.7 million contract last offseason. His play under fired coach Marc Trestman crumbled this season, leaving the team wondering what to do next with their overly paid passer.
How Fox addresses both the defensive makeover and Cutler's future will dictate how quickly Chicago can return to form in a rough-and-tumble division. Without Manning at his side, though, success won't come easy.