Ahhh, revisionist history. You've gotta love it.
I remember many games of the type you describe. And he had the full support of management for many years, which is why he was one of the highest paid coaches in the league in the last half of his run here.
And as to game day management, do you not remember the Arizona playoff game when Fox refused to adjust coverages?
John is a good defensive coach and a middle of the road kind of guy. Rivera may have underperformed, but that's no reason to put Fox on a pedestal.
i don't get this "fox always had his teams ready to play" and "he was a great decision maker" stuff either. we lost several games due to stupid playcalling and lack of adjustments, especially in his last few years here.
the 2008 playoff game against the cardinals and 2009 opener against the eagles are case studies in this. somebody on the cardinals offense (one of the WRs-either fitz or breaston) said after the game that they had our defense figured out after a series or two and they knew we weren't going to try to disguise coverages or even adjust. then in the 2009 opener we had no answer whatsoever for philadelphia's blitz or special teams and they just murdered us all day in both areas. you could see the same kind of thing starting to happen as far back as 2006 and 2007 as well.
fox is great at turning a team around fast but in terms of sustained success and getting players to buy into his philosophy long term it's a mixed bag. he needs a very specific kind of team with very specific personalities on field to win.