clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

John Fox talks Vic Fangio, Blaine Gabbert, Shaun Draughn

New, comments

The Chicago Bears head coach chatted with 49ers media on Wednesday. He talked about his hiring of Vic Fangio, the development of Blaine Gabbert, how the Bears prepared with three extra days after Thanksgiving, and more. We've got a full transcript. You can also listen to audio here.

On what they do with extra prep time following Thanksgiving game:

Well, I think guys were pretty glued to the TV watching them play Arizona. We played four games in 17 days, so a lot of guys are resting, both the staff and the players. All in all, we're back a little bit of a day ahead of the team. We had a little bonus one day, then players had off [Tuesday], today was a typical in-season Wednesday for Sunday kickoff.

On leaning extra on coordinators given their knowledge of 49ers:

Not really. We got an outstanding staff, and we break down games typically the same regardless of the opponent. I think the fact that there's familiarity, especially with Ed Donatell and Vic having been there. I think Adam probably with his preparation during the interview process, most of that kind of stuff is probably personnel-related. I think they've changed quite a bit since this time a year ago, as far as personnel. Just in the last three weeks, even the quarterback position has changed a lot. It's a very fluid deal going through an NFL season, really with any of your opponents. They got some insight, almost like you would if you played them in a division game.

On Bears defense similar to 49ers previous defense, or what Broncos have run:

Well, like most anytime you come in new. I think it's kind of a melting pot of stuff. We played the 49ers a year ago, twice, both in the preseason and the regular season there with the Broncos. Both sides are pretty familiar. A lot of the staff still there, or some of the staff still there is probably equally as familiar. I think all that familiarity stuff works both ways.

On getting Gase to Chicago in spite of all the other interviews:

When you've done this for 26 years, there really aren't very many surprises. I don't say there aren't none because something else will pop up, but yea, I think anytime you dive into one of these things, you try and put together the best staff you can. Was really fortunate we were able to hire Adam, Vic and Billy, our whole staff in general.

On Tracy Porter, what he's meant to the team this year, and if he's been a surprise playing this way late in his career:

Well, I don't know that it's a surprise. There's expectations, I think people live up or down to them, and we do expect a lot. He's a guy we had coached in Denver in 2012. He's a guy that was on New Orleans' Super Bowl team. I think that was '09. I lose track some time. Also Ryan Pace has some familiarity with him. We signed him late in the free agency process, where we got him after Washington released him. You got a little bit of a hamstring early, recovered from that, and has really played well over the last whole month. He's smart, got excellent ball skills, understands the game. I think he's been good for the secondary room as far as how to study tape, and the things necessary to prepare for games in this league.

On familiarity with Vic and sequence of events leading to his hiring:

What happens in this league, again when you're banging around for a quarter of a century, not too many people you don't know. And so, Vic's a guy, I remember back in New Orleans with Dom [Capers] and that crew. Dom followed to Pittsburgh when I left Pittsburgh went to San Diego. So, I've known Vic for a long time. I look at a lot of tape, and to me, that's a guy whose resume, I don't know how many times you have to work with them, but they continue to produce on tape, how they perform, ultimately that's the resume I look at when I hire a coach.

On what Vic did schematically that made Fox want to hire him:

I think ultimately, you look at scoring defense. Obviously, it's more than just defense, it's a team game. It's complementary football, what you're doing in all three phases because that all relates into field position, and some of the things to execute in to win games. They're always sound, they play hard, there's been enough variance to it to where it's not too simple. And yet, at the end of the day, you've got to execute, and not give up explosive plays. For the most part, he's done that most everywhere he's been.

On what Shaun Draughn brings to the 49ers:

Well he's done a tremendous job, he's a guy I have a lot of respect for. I mean he's a little bit like me, he's been with a lot of teams. But he's gotten the opportunity there, and he's flourished. He runs very hard, he's a good guy out of the backfield, and they're featuring him. I'm kind of been impressed with what I've seen with what he's done with this opportunity.

On what he sees from Blaine Gabbert running the offense vs. Colin Kaepernick:

Obviously a little more watching it with Blaine Gabbert, since we figure that's the guy we're gonna see. He's a guy that coming out we had the second pick in the draft. Obviously did a lot of research on guys we felt were at that spot. Pretty familiar with him coming out. I know he's very athletic. Some of our guys weren't quite as familiar with him until you turn on the tape and look at how he avoids the rush, and scrambles, and the athleticism and speed that he has. On top of, he's become more acclimated each game, and obviously has performed better in the passing game.

On seeing strides in Gabbert working under center, given his shotgun background in college:

I think that's a big adjustment for any quarterback, not just Blaine. So many of these college teams now are in the zone read option, shotgun. Like Cam Newton, he's another guy in that draft we looked at. I think he's done quite well. Athletically they've got big hands, doesn't sound like they have a problem going up underneath the center. it's something you practice and you learn. There's all kinds of adjustments to the pro game in that area.