The Detroit Lions have added former Chicago Bears’ head coach John Fox to their defensive staff, in the hopes of improving their performance on that side of the ball after a disappointing 2022 season. During the 2022 season, the Lions’ defense allowed the most yards to opposing teams in the entire league. They were ranked in the bottom five against the run and in the bottom three for passing yards allowed. In addition, they were ranked in the bottom three for third-down conversion percentage and allowed the third most points per game.
Fox has been hired as a senior defensive consultant and is expected to join the team’s staff this offseason. He began his coaching career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1989 as their secondary coach. He went on to become the defensive coordinator for the Raiders and for the New York Giants, leading the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV (although they ultimately lost). In 2002, he became the head coach of the Carolina Panthers and led them to the Super Bowl in 2003 with Cam Newton. He stayed with the Panthers until becoming the coach of the Denver Broncos in 2011, leading them to the Super Bowl in 2013 and winning the AFC West each year until he was hired by the Chicago Bears in 2015. Unfortunately, he finished last in the division each year until 2017 when he was let go. Fox was out of the league until 2022 when he was hired as the senior defensive assistant for the Indianapolis Colts.
With three Super Bowls, 256 regular-season games, and 15 playoff games under his belt, Fox brings a wealth of experience to the Lions’ young and talented team. His expertise is invaluable, having coached some of the NFL’s best defenses of all time. During his time with the Broncos, he oversaw one of the best defenses in NFL history and is known for turning young players into stars.
The Lions are aiming to make a playoff push next year, and Fox’s hiring should prove to be a valuable addition to the team’s strong coaching staff and front office. Coach Dan Campbell has proven to be a motivational players’ coach, and general manager Brad Holmes just had one of the best draft classes in the league. The team is building off of the strides made in the second half of the 2022 season, and if the back half of the defense can continue to grow and improve, the league should be on the lookout for the young pass-rushing duo of Aiden Hutchinson and James Houston.
Fox has coached numerous pro-bowl and all-pro players, including Julius Peppers, Champ Bailey, Aqib Talib, Brian Dawkins, Kyle Fuller, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Jackson. With his winning experience and proven coaching abilities, it is likely that he will be able to help propel Detroit’s young stars to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.