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Chalk Talk


Will Bears switch to a 3-4 defense?


Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

Do you think the Bears will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under John Fox?

Sal A.
Elmwood Park, Illinois

It's too early to definitively say what type of scheme the Bears will run on defense. New head coach John Fox has been focusing nearly all of his attention on assembling his coaching staff and no doubt will turn his attention to evaluating the team's defensive talent when he's finished hiring assistants. Fox has had great success operating 4-3 defenses over the years, while new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has excelled with 3-4 schemes, most recently with the 49ers. So it's difficult to say what type of system the Bears will install. The good news is that Fox and Fangio are two of the best and most experienced defensive coaches in the league, which bodes very well for the Bears. Here's what Fox said Monday during his introductory press conference when asked whether the Bears would utilize a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme: "Spending 25 years in this league as a head coach or a defensive coach, I think sometimes maybe on the outside more is made of that than reality. We're going to put our players in the best position for them to have success and that's how we're going to earn their respect moving forward because they know we can help them. Whether that's a 3-4 or 4-3 has not been determined yet."

Knowing that the Bears must fare much better within their division than they did in going 1-5 this season, what is John Fox's career record against the Lions, Packers and Vikings?

Bob K.
Streamwood, Illinois

In 13 seasons as a coach with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, John Fox has compiled a cumulative 10-7 record against Detroit (4-1), Green Bay (2-4) and Minnesota (4-2). His most recent matchups came in 2011 when the Broncos beat the Vikings 35-32 but lost to the Packers 49-23 and the Lions 45-10. Fox's 14 other games against the Bears' three NFC North rivals all came when he coached the Panthers from 2002-10. He won his final three games against those teams as Carolina's coach, beating the Lions 31-22 and Packers 35-31 in 2008 and the Vikings 26-7 in 2009.

We all know that John Fox is part of the tiny list of coaches who have taken two different teams to the Super Bowl. Have any of those guys done it with three or more teams?

San Jose, California

No, none of the six coaches who've led two different teams to the Super Bowl have taken a third, which gives John Fox a chance to make history with the Bears. Two of the six only coached two teams in Don Shula (Colts and Dolphins) and Mike Holmgren (Packers and Seahawks). The three other coaches who've taken two teams to the Super Bowl all lost in the divisional playoffs with a third team: Bill Parcells (Jets), Dan Reeves (Giants) and Dick Vermeil (Chiefs).

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