Chicago’s decision to dump defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff made waves when it happened, but with the Bears in a bye week (and struggling at 2-4), the issue didn’t get as much attention as it would have received if a higher-profile team had dumped a player with a bigger name.
On Monday, reporters had their first chance to talk to coach John Fox since the release of Ratliff. And Fox didn’t have much to say.
“Just like everything, you evaluate and every decision we make is what we feel is best for the football team,” Fox said, via the Chicago Tribune.
The folks at 670 The Score have been playing an even longer clip of Fox evading questions about why cutting the team’s starting nose tackle was in its bests interests. It’s Belichickian in its lack of information, a far cry from the guy Fox used to be in Denver.
It’s possible that, given the potential legal ramifications of publicly suggesting reasons for Ratliff’s behavior on the day he was cut, Fox has been told by the team’s lawyers to say nothing. If that’s the case, however, why not just say that? At least it would be clear why Fox was saying nothing about a situation that cries out for something.
Ultimately, it’s the latest example of a low-access, standoffish approach by a franchise that isn’t nearly good enough right now to give the media the frozen shoulder. And if the losses continue, the folks in Chicago who rely on cooperation from the local team in order to do their jobs will be more inclined to call for change.