MINNEAPOLIS – If Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Vikings in Minnesota was John Fox's last game as Bears head coach, he wasn't about to answer questions regarding his likely firing.
Fox, who is 14-34 after three seasons in Chicago, brushed off two questions – both about his job status – after his team's season-ending loss and walked out when no questions were asked about Sunday's game.
"The League makes me be here to talk about this game and that's what we'll keep it to," he said. "For anything after that, we'll keep you posted. Any other questions?"
There weren't many questions to ask after the Bears closed their season at 5-11, which included losses in all six of their NFC North games. The Bears have three divisional wins in three seasons under Fox.
If general manager Ryan Pace does choose to fire Fox, the Bears will enter their coaching search in a much different place than they did three years ago after parting ways with Marc Trestman.
The chance to develop a first-round quarterback in Mitch Trubisky will be appealing to any candidate – and unlike three seasons ago – they'll have a solid defense to begin their tenure with.
That defense, though, wasn't quite ready to turn the page Sunday. Many, including Aiken Hicks, talked about a side of Fox not often seen outside the locker room.
"It's hard to put into words," Hicks said. "He's so relatable. He's been doing this for so long. He can just talk to you in a way that is motivating while keeping you accountable. He's one of my favorite coaches I've ever had as far as helping you grow as a person, as a player."
Fox's popularity with his players hasn't brought success on the field, however, particularly on the offensive side. After showing promise in Fox's first season with Adam Gase at offensive coordinator, the Bears have finished near the bottom of the league offensively in each of the last two seasons with Dowell Loggains at OC.
Sunday proved to be another example of the team's problem with generating consistent offense.
The Bears totaled just 53 yards in the first half, including minus-1 yards rushing. When they did find some rhythm for Trubisky in the fourth quarter, they still couldn't manage to find the end zone despite running 11 plays from or inside Minnesota's 6-yard line.
Still, that's no fault of the defense, which will also likely lose coordinator Vic Fangio.
"The line between winning and losing is razor thin," linebacker Sam Acho said. "You go back to some of our games and you see that. It's a dropped pass here or a missed sack there. Or maybe it's a missed opportunity to force a fumble or a turnover.
"That's always the difference between winning and losing. That's the thing, we're close. And anybody who says we're not close, is wrong."
That like won't be enough to save Fox's job.
"I know he's disappointed just like everyone else down here in how we've underperformed in some situations," Hicks said. "I know there's nobody that it weighs on more than Fox. When I leave the building, 6:30 (or) 7 o'clock at night, his truck is still there. He's clocking his hours in and doing his best to make us better. For him, I wish he had finished better."