John Fox has been in coaching since 1978. He’s coached in the NFL continuously (save for a one-year break as a personnel consultant for the St. Louis Rams) since 1989. After going 73-71 in nine seasons as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers and 46-18 in four seasons leading the Denver Broncos, Fox was introduced for his third NFL head coaching job – this time with the Chicago Bears – on Monday.
In taking over a club that started the 2014 season with playoff aspirations and ended it with a 5-11 mark and a five-game losing streak, Fox was asked what his primary objective is in turning around his new team. Fox didn’t mention X’s and O’s, didn’t mention personnel, he didn’t mention offense or defense at all. “As a head coach, my job is to motivate and manage the football team,” Fox said. “It’s not that one phase is bigger and better than the other ones. That’s all three phases.”
For any new head coaches walking into unfamiliar locker rooms this winter, Fox’s answer something to keep in mind. A head coach’s responsibility isn’t to draw up a perfect play or come up with the perfect game plan, it’s to get your team pulling in the same direction and in the proper mindset.