John Fox sees a Bears team in “striking distance”

John Fox sees a Bears team in “striking distance”

John Fox sees a Bears team in “striking distance”

John Fox sees a Bears team in “striking distance”

It is easy to be skeptical of the Bears’ outlook for 2017.

Of their current quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez attempted the most passes last year; he threw 18 as a backup in Dallas. They finished in last place in the NFC North for a third straight year. Their 3-13 record was the franchise’s worst, in the terms of loss total, since 1969.

But John Fox expressed optimism in December. He’s expressing it still.

Near the end of last season, the Bears coach said his club was “closer than people think” and in “striking distance.” He dug himself deeper into that position Wednesday, again telling reporters he believes the Bears are in “striking distance.”

He cited the amount of roster turnover since he and GM Ryan Pace arrived in 2015.

“Going back to a lot of the changes, we’ve had a lot of change,” Fox said, via CSN Chicago. “I think we’re better for it. Unfortunately, you can’t walk around with your chest out about that because of our record the last two years. But I have total confidence, and (Pace) has done an outstanding job and will continue to.

“I understand you have to win. And I finally feel like we’re in striking distance.”

Fox is entering the third season of a four-year contract.

The Bears have proven to be a project. He owns a 9-23 record compared to a 46-18 ledger across his four regular seasons in Denver.

“I would have thought that we would have done better to this point,” Fox said, via the Chicago Tribune. “But I kind of still feel really positive and encouraged for where we’re headed. I just saw it happening a little bit faster.”

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