(CBS) John Fox spoke for the first time since becoming the Bears head coach Friday, discussing his level of excitement about taking over in Chicago as well as how things ended in Denver in an interview with the Denver Post’s Mike Klis.
“I can tell you I’m really excited about the new opportunity,” Fox told the Post. “And yet it was a real enjoyable four years in Denver. I’m not comparing, but one of the most appealing things about this job is I’ve been in places like this before, Pittsburgh and New York. Old guard teams, old guard ownership. Family owned, like the Denver Broncos. Great tradition, like the Broncos. Sports towns. Great fan bases.”
Fox found himself in the unusual situation of being on the job market just a day after the Broncos’ 24-13 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC divisional playoff round. The speculation about Fox’s departure hovered around a strained relationship between he and Broncos general manager John Elway. Fox maintained the relationship between the two was good.
“Trust me, I didn’t design it to go that way,” Fox said, according to the newspaper. “You ask anybody in that building how hard I worked. It was a mutual parting. We hugged each other. To me nothing’s changed from what was said Monday.”
During the pre-game show of last week’s divisional round, Fox Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer — a longtime friend of Fox who covered the Giants when Fox was the defensive coordinator in New York — suggested that the Broncos-Colts game was a potential win-or-else situation for Fox.
Another layer to the story was Fox’s relationship with current-Bears consultant and former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. In the end, it was suggested that the Chicago job may have been pre-arranged for Fox, which he denied.
“That’s not true,” Fox said. “I didn’t have any jobs lined up. I didn’t know I wasn’t going to have one, other than I heard from plenty of places. There were no guarantees. I didn’t have any guarantees. Look, it was mutual. We both agreed to part ways.”
Other notable takeaways from the story are that Fox won’t be attending the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., next week, as he will stay in Lake Forest to fill out his coaching staff.
Back in October, Fox signed a three-year extension with the Broncos at $5.5 million per season. His contract contained offset language, so while the final figures of Fox’s new contract with the Bears wasn’t revealed, the total amount exceeds the remaining $11 million the Broncos would’ve owed Fox.
Fox will be introduced at Halas Hall next Monday at 11 a.m. which will be carried live on 670 The Score.