It will be four years since Matt Nagy coached the Chicago Bears in their season finale at US Bank Stadium on Sunday. General Manager Ryan Pace Introduces Him Halas Hall as the team’s new coach.
“Matt is a proven leader,” Pace said of Andy Reid’s former assistant coach and Kansas City Chiefs coordinator. “He is a winner. He is intelligent. He is innovative. He has a strong character. He has a great family and he has the same passion for the game that I have.”
Some of those statements have proved to be true in the last four years. One of them, about winning, is not true enough.
No matter the outcome of the game, which has no playoff effect for either team, the Bears would end up with a losing record for the first time in their tenure. Negi has had a winning season – a 12-4 run to the NFC North title in 2018 – and two 8-8 seasons.
Due in large part to mediocre results, running a thriving offense and Nagy’s inability to boost his quarterback game, the Bears could feature a new head coach in the coming weeks.
Nagy is clearly aware of that possibility.
He has been asked about his future for more than six weeks, Thanksgiving week begins after a patch.com Reportedly, week 12 against the Detroit Lions will be his last match amid a five-match losing streak. it continued this week when more chatter revealed That he had already been told that he would be fired, which Negi denied.
“It’s a part of this work,” Negi said of the rumours. “When you are in a results-oriented business, you know when you are involved. Part of why you get to this point is that you are able to handle situations like this… It’s a matter of making sure you handle it the right way and that you’re open and honest. I think that’s what I’ve been through this whole time and I think the players understand and respect that and maybe that’s why We are playing the way we are playing now.”
The quarterback carousel had one last turn at Halas Hall this week.
Quarterback Justin Fields tested positive for COVID-19 and will not start Sunday, marking the end of a bumpy rookie season in which he was 2-8 as a starter.
Fields is one of five quarterbacks to have started in Negi’s 66 games as coach. Mitch Trubisky started 40 and won 25. Chase Daniels started three and won one. Nick Foles started eight and won three. Sunday starter Andy Dalton made five starts and won three.
No one has clicked long enough – or long enough – under Nagy to be able to say that his guidance on the field has been a success.
Through four seasons, Nagy’s offense was never higher than 21st in yards per game, and after the 2018 season it was never above 22nd in points per game.
The quarterback had his moments.
trubisky Throws six touchdown passes Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as part of their run for the NFC North title in 2018. Foles 16 points led from the bottom When Negi benched Trubisky in 2020 for a win against the Atlanta Falcons. Fields led the Bears 21 Fourth Quarter Issues Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on “Monday Night Football”.
But those successes were fleeting.
The division championship in 2018 was promoted in large part by the Vic Fangio-led defense, and the Bears. 16-15 playoff loss to Philadelphia Eagles That season foreshadowed the offensive troubles that would follow under Trubisky in 2019.
After the Bears’ 5-1 start in 2020, an injury to the Bears lost the next four under Falls as part of a six-game losing streak before an injury pushed the Bears back to Trubisky.
This season, despite a Fields-led comeback, the Bears lost to the Steelers, and Fields started only three of the final eight games due to injuries and COVID-19.
The time out hindered any chance of Fields ending the season on a promising developmental arc, and instead his rookie performances will be remembered for flashes of talent, but not for steady progress. To add to the uncertainty, players and coaches said it took him time to adjust to Fields after Dalton was a starter in training camp and the first two games.
The question remains open as to whether anything would have been different had Nagy named Fields the starter for the start, instead of Dalton having been injured in Week 2.
Despite a rocky season in which Fields completed 58.9% of his passes for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 36 sacks, the quarterback called Nagy a “great coach.”
Fields said on Wednesday, “I know there’s been a lot of talk outside or whatever, but as far as I’m concerned, he has coached me to the best of my ability and that’s on and off the field.” A great man.” “I’m just glad I got to experience this first year with him – all the players and all the coaches.”
Things didn’t turn ugly internally at the end of the last few seasons and the Bears continued to beat other bad teams – including the Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants over the past two weeks – the character of the Bears has been credited for the players and Nagy’s leadership. .
He guided the Bears through the unexpected challenges of COVID-19 for two seasons, including his own combat with the virus In October.
But simply, those positives are not enough.
Negi was asked several times over the years what went wrong with his offense, but on Wednesday he was asked what went right this season.
He still headed for obvious negatives before talking about how developing players take time.
“You see where we are on the offensive and we know we want to be able to see more points on the board, right?” They said. “Like we have talked about some red-zone (problems) this year. And at the same time (we) should be able to develop these players. When I look at what we’ve done with these young players here, whether it’s a rookie this year or it’s a guy who’s in his third or fourth year here with us, our coaches have done a good job with these guys. Able to do that and build that together.
“Is the record where we want it to be this year? No, not at all. We understand it. There’s a lot of development going on right now and it takes a while with these guys when they’re younger And when you draft them and they’re yours.”
Time in Chicago, however, is something Nagy may not have.