Fox: Cutting Ties With Ratliff Was About Making Bears Better

CHICAGO (CBS) — Addressing the recent release of defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff for the first time, Bears coach John Fox on Monday offered no new insight into the confrontation at Halas Hall that led to the team cutting ties with the four-time Pro Bowler.

Ratliff, 34, had been dealing with nagging injuries throughout the 2015 season and also missed the first three games of the season because of a suspension stemming from a DWI arrest in 2013.

Ratliff showed up to work at Halas Hall on Wednesday in a state of obvious impairment, was told to go home and got into a heated argument, sources have told 670 The Score. He then left the facility but returned for yet another conflict with team personnel. He was again sent told to leave, only to return once more to make a series of threats that were serious enough to enlist the precautionary police presence.

After releasing Ratliff, the Bears signed defensive lineman Ziggy Hood to take his spot on the roster.

Fox wouldn’t offer any more details about the Ratliff incident on Monday in an interview with WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss.

“It’s just a matter of whatever we think can make our team better, and that was a move that we felt could, and we’re excited to move forward with Ziggy,” he said.

“We evaluate players and make personnel decisions that we think’s best for the team. We’re excited to get to work with Ziggy Hood.”

Fox said he doesn’t expect it will take long for Hood to get into the mix on the defensive line.

“We’ve had some turnover at that position along the way and after the first six games of our season, and don’t look at it to be maybe much different than that, as far as guys coming in and learning the system, and we’ve got a full week to get that done,” he said.

Fox praised general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears’ front office for their efforts to reshape the roster on the fly, including trading linebackers Jonathan Bostic and Jared Allen for draft picks after the season started, after it became clear they didn’t fit into the Bears’ new defensive scheme.

“They’ve done a tremendous job,” Fox said. “We’ve got nine picks at this stage, still time to go for next year’s draft. I think we’re putting together a solid younger roster that we think can be competitive.”

You can hear Fox’s entire interview below:

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