LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — John Fox interviewed for the Chicago Bears’ coaching job Wednesday, two days after parting ways with the Denver Broncos.
Fox is at least the sixth candidate to interview for the job. He’s widely seen as a strong possibility given his record and his ties to consultant Ernie Accorsi and new general manager Ryan Pace.
Fox was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1997 to 2001 when Accorsi was the GM. Saints coach Sean Payton was the offensive coordinator for part of that time, and he is tight with Pace, who was hired out of New Orleans’ front office.
Fox won the AFC West all four of his years in Denver, but each of those seasons ended in ugly losses, including a 24-13 upset by Indianapolis this year. He was 49-22 with the Broncos, including the playoffs, following a 78-74 record in nine years with Carolina, counting the postseason.
He led the Panthers to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme at quarterback and got back there last year with Peyton Manning. The Broncos got blown out 43-8 by Seattle, convincing general manager John Elway to spend $60 million in guarantees on new defensive players so his quarterback shouldn’t have to carry the load by himself.
Fox, who in the past was criticized for being too conservative, drew more scrutiny midway through this season when the Broncos altered their offense and started to focus more on the run.
The Bears made big changes after finishing 5-11 and missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons, firing general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman.
They interviewed former Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Chicago also has met with Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase and then-Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who was hired by the Jets.