By Chris Emma–

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — In a diplomatic manner, Bears coach John Fox denied friction with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and stated that he wanted the entire coaching staff to return next season.

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Fangio was more emphatic in denying a column in the Chicago Tribune that speculated he wouldn’t return to the Bears after this season.

“That wasn’t written by anyone in this room,” Fangio said Wednesday at Halas Hall. “You guys know what’s going on.

“It gives you guys a bad name. He’s one of your colleagues, and irresponsible reporting doesn’t shine well for all of you and that’s too bad because all of you guys, I enjoy talking to you guys.”

Fangio was first alerted to the report by Fox, who was nervous in approaching his defensive coordinator. Why the nerves?

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“Because it wasn’t true and thought I might take it the wrong way,” Fangio said.

In denying reports of friction, Fox took it upon himself to credit the work of Fangio and his entire coaching staff. The Bears are 3-9 headed into Sunday’s contest against the Lions in Detroit.

“Our staff is tremendous,” Fox said. “I think right now, if you flashback two years ago, this defense was 32nd in the league. Right now, it is seventh. I think you even look at offensively, similar numbers even from a year ago, we were 24th. This offense is 16th. So with going on our fourth quarterback, I couldn’t be more proud of our staff. I’ll just leave it at I am very, very pleased with our staff.

“When you spend as much time as we do as coaches, I think we get along great.”

Fox feels that progress can come for his Bears in the season’s final four games. That starts Sunday at Ford Field.

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Beyond this season, decisions could be made. Fox stands hopeful that his coaching staff will be back for a third season.

“I want our whole staff back,” Fox said. “Now whether that proves to be a reality or not, things happen. Guys get jobs, get head jobs, get chances to advance their careers. Like any of the projection stuff, I just stay away from.”
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.