The Bears made an unpopular decision last January when they decided to keep head coach Matt Nagy on for at least another year. Chicago fans had hoped the team would move on after a couple of disappointing seasons that saw the team’s attack explode.
Instead, the Bears decided to give Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace one more chance to run the ship. So far, the 2021 NFL season has yielded much of the same.
The Bears stumbled on a 3-7 record to start the season and their attack is as dull as ever. Nagy, who came to the Bears after working as offensive coordinator for Andy Reid and the Chiefs, was supposed to fix that, but Mitchell Trubisky couldn’t. Things couldn’t be better with Justin Fields.
Chicago’s struggles have angered Bears fans even more to the point that they have launched a petition to encourage Bears ownership to fire Nagy. They even chanted “Nagy fire” after the Bears’ Week 11 loss to Raven and reserve defender, Tyler Huntley. George McCaskey and Co. is it mandatory?
A move may not be imminent, nor is it guaranteed to arrive in season. However, when looking at what McCaskey has said about Nagy in the past, the Bears coach seems to be on thin ice as Chicago slips further and further away from the playoff race.
What Bears Ownership Said About Matt Nagy
There’s been buzz about Matt Nagy’s job security recently during last season’s season. However, Bears president George McCaskey decided to retain both Nagy and GM Ryan Pace after the Bears were able to reach the post-season despite their offense.
“At this point, we believe the right answer for us is continuity,” McCaskey said back in January, The Athletic.
However, the Bears elected not to extend Nagy beyond 2022, the end date of his current contract. In essence, this has become a proving year for the coach. And McCaskey has his main goal in mind for the season.
“As far as we need to see, we need to see progress,” McCaskey said, per SI.com. “It’s not a certain number of wins.
“We don’t know what will happen in the 2021 season. We just went through an unprecedented (pandemic) event in the 2020 season, so we don’t know what injuries will happen, but What other challenges will arise, but we must see progress.”
Easiest way for Bears to make progress? In McCaskey’s opinion, it concerns the most important position on the field.
“Obviously we need better production from midfield to be successful,” said McCaskey.
That’s part of the reason why the Bears went and drafted Justin Fields while signing veteran Andy Dalton. That is supposed to strengthen the defense and give Nagy the tools he needs to build a more competitive team.
So Nagy has two main goals. Improve midfield play and lead the team to more success after consecutive 8-8 seasons. The pressure is on to accomplish those goals, as his return comes only with a silent vote of confidence.
“We’re not happy with where we are, but we think both Ryan and Matt have the best ability to lead us to success,” McCaskey said.
Matt Nagy renews contract
NFL teams often want to renew contracts before they can, especially with their coaching staff. However, the Bears did not offer Nagy an extension beyond the final year of his contract in 2022, as team president Ted Phillips detailed when the Bears announced Nagy would return in 2021.
“Contracts were not part of our discussions,” Phillips said. “That’s not a concern to anyone. As we show improvement, the contacts will take care of themselves.”
Essentially, the Bears are using the 2021 NFL season as a time to see if Nagy can help the Bears level up. If he can, they still have him under contract until 2022 and could extend him for the 2022 season. If he can’t, then they will only have to eat the one year remaining on their contract. him – this may or may not be guaranteed.
The fact that the Bears did not offer Nagy another contract is a bad sign for his future. It’s been a really “proving” year for him, so if he continues his work, he’ll have to improve over the course of the season.
The value of Nagy’s current contract is unknown. He was hired during the 2018 NFL season, and only three of the seven coaches hired that season, including Nagy, remain head coaches. Colts coach Frank Reich, who is raking in $4.5 million in 2021, is one of them. Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who is raking in $3 million in 2021, is the other.
Matt Nagy’s record: Playoff wins and losses
Nagy is in her fourth season with the Bears and really doesn’t have a losing streak yet. He won the AP Coach of the Year award in 2018, his first season as a head coach and seems to have a bright future.
Since that time, however, Nagy has been hovering around the .500 level and has failed to take the team to the next level. Most discouraging of all, his fouls often place in the bottom 10 of the tournament despite his reputation for being a solid attacking mind.
Here’s his regular-season performance so far and how the Bears’ offense has played out under Nagy.
|Year||Game||Win||Losses||Number of cards per game||Score crime|
|Year 2021||9 *||3||6||Day 31||29th|
* Nagy coached in nine matches. He missed the Bears’ Week 8 loss to the 49ers after testing positive for COVID-19.
The team’s struggling attack with quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Justin Fields in the first round could prove damnable for Nagy. So the team’s inability to win season after season is also possible.
Nagy has taken the Bears into the playoffs twice. He is yet to win the playoffs, although it could be argued that Cody Parkey’s famous double goal robbed him of his victory in his first game of the 2018 season. The Bears only averaged 12 points per game in the following season, so that’s not an encouraging sign for Nagy.
|2018||Eagle||Wild card||L, 16-15|
|Year 2020||Saints||Wild card||L, 21-9|
PICTURE OF PLAYING NFL: AFC updates, NFC seeds, matches after Week 11
Will Bears Fire Matt Nagy?
Looks like Nagy is really in danger of losing her job at this point. Podcaster Jordan Schultz – who hosts with Allen Robinson, the Bears host – reported Monday that Nagy has lost her locker room. Now, Chicago only has to decide if they will make Nagy their first season-long head coach of all time.
A large number # Bear‘The players want Matt Nagy to leave, league sources said. “He lost some dressing room last season, but now it’s gone,” a source added. An important bottom line: No HC in the franchise’s 101-year history has ever been dropped during the season.
– Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) November 22, 2021
Nagy has denied that he will be fired after Thanksgiving, but win or lose against the Lions, it’s hard to imagine him outlasting the rest of the 2021 NFL season.
The Bears have the NFL’s worst offense, and their quarterback play hasn’t improved. Fields’ best game of the season was against the 49ers, a game Nagy didn’t even participate in after he tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss it. That’s not at all a sensational endorsement of his Fields stewardship.
Without a major improvement from Fields over the course of the season, the Bears look set to part ways with Nagy.
As McCaskey said, the whole goal of this season is to show progress and get better output from midfield. After 10 games, the Bears are on a losing streak and will need to win 6-1 just to finish a game above .500. Meanwhile, Fields ranks last in QBR among players who qualify this season with a score of 25.6. This is significantly worse than the 61.3 number Trubisky posted in 2020 and the 32.4 figure he posted as a rookie in 2018.
You can’t rule out anything in the NFL, but it’s certainly going to be tough for Nagy to survive the season. His seat is burning hot – probably more than any other NFL coach.