Change is imminent in Chicago. Whether it’s the coaching, players, or culture, there is going to be change coming to a Bears team that got beat down in the Wild Card. For now, it will be up to Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace to ignite that change as both the HC and GM are returning in 2021. And it comes as no surprise that the Bears fan base is less than thrilled with this decision. I have my doubts as well even though I’ve always been an optimistic fan.
In Ryan Pace’s tenure as GM, he’s made good moves. Signing Allen Robinson (Pace better re-sign him), trading for Khalil Mack, drafting Darnell Mooney, and several other respectable moves. He’s also had his fair share of bad moves. Signing Mike Glennon, trading for Nick Foles, trading draft capital to move up one spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky, and signing Robert Quinn to a massive 5-yr deal that already looks like a fail. Noticing a trend here? That’s right, most of the bad moves are at the QB position. It’s no secret that the Bears are going to be looking to upgrade at that position. Foles wasn’t the guy. He was so lackluster that Bears fans wanted Mitch back. Yes, Trubisky did a good job when coming back, helping the Bears reach the playoffs, and heck, if Wims caught that, who knows what would’ve happened the rest of the way. However, it basically summed up the Bears season, and now, in what could be his final year to right the ship, Pace has a lot of work to do.
Matt Nagy’s coaching run with the Bears has definitely hit a low point. His reputation as a “quarterback guru” is all but dead, and his offense has been ranked near the bottom over the course of the last two seasons. He made a big first impression, leading the Bears to a 12-4 record, and securing a playoff berth in his first season. No need to retell what happened. Granted both of those appearances resulted in first round exits, Nagy got the Bears to the playoffs. That was enough to convince Chairman George McCaskey and President/CEO Ted Phillips to retain Nagy. Currently, he is 28-20 in three seasons with a 0-2 playoff record. He won Coach of the Year in 2018, but that was his only golden year.
I have nothing but respect for Chuck Pagano. Great guy, but he just never could bring what Vic Fangio brought to this defense. The takeaways were low, and the Monsters of the Midway were in hibernation. We saw a lot of cautious play designs with limited pressure. Just take the Michael Thomas TD as an example. The Bears D dropped into zones, Brees found an opening, and boom, TD. Pagano wasn’t a fit and it was time to move on. In terms of replacements, two are in-house. Sean Desai (safeties coach) and Jay Rodgers (D-Line coach) are a couple of names to keep an eye on in the search. Thank You, Chuck and enjoy retirement. You earned it.
Well, Bears fans are going to have to deal with Pace and Nagy for at least another year. Maybe they’ll get it right, but that’s the optimistic fan in me talking. This is just beginning of a long off-season in the Windy City. Buckle up Bears fans, it’s going to be a wild ride.