Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy experienced the wrath of fans in his three seasons. Despite their calls for his job, he’s done a pretty good job with what he’s had.
At the end of the 2020 season, many Chicago Bears fans wanted to see general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy fired. While both men have had their struggles in certain areas, one of them shouldn’t be on the same level as the other.
Pace has struggled to build a consistent winning team since he arrived in Chicago in 2015. His biggest fault was that he hasn’t found the franchise quarterback needed to lead the team. He’s also missed on bolstering other areas of the roster as well. In his six seasons as general manager, he’s had one winning season. Who was that coach? None other than Nagy in 2018. Pace genuinely deserves to be on the hot seat.
Nagy, on the other hand, shouldn’t feel as much heat. As I mentioned, Nagy hasn’t been perfect. This is his first head coaching job so there’ll be some growing pains. For example, he needs to involve the running game more than he has. There are moments when he tries to get the passing game going so much that he forgets to use the running game. There are times when he seems to be trying to make David Montgomery more of a pass-catcher than a runner. He’ll adjust with more experience.
Nagy has done some good work considering what he’s been working with
Look at the Chicago Bears roster, especially offensively. The offensive line has struggled, the wide receivers corps doesn’t have enough playmakers. He had a season in which the entire tight ends unit recorded just 46 catches for 416 yards and 2 touchdowns. It’s difficult to consistently win with a roster like that.
One of the criticisms of Nagy is his handling of Mitch Trubisky. Nagy came to Chicago with the reputation of being a quarterback whisperer. Alex Smith had his best season in 2017 with the Kansas City Chiefs when Nagy was his quarterbacks coach. Nagy also contributed to the development of Patrick Mahomes.
With Trubisky, however, it was always one step forward, two steps back. Trubisky was a former second overall pick and Pace gave up some key draft capital to move up one spot to draft him. He needed Trubisky to succeed but it didn’t happen. Many fans put the blame on Nagy. Sometimes, however, it’s the player who can’t get it done, no matter how much coaching he receives.
In the Trubisky era, we’ve seen him repeat the same mistakes. Do people think that Nagy didn’t see the mistakes? I’m sure it was as frustrating for him as it was for the fans.
Remember the game against the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 when Nagy benched Trubisky late in the game? There was no word about an injury when it happened but then the team mentioned it after the game. Also, let me remind you of this tidbit from 2019.
It was Week 3 and the Bears hosted Washington. The offense struggled early in the game. On a timeout, Nagy was talking to Trubisky. It appeared that Trubisky was trying to talk over Nagy and Nagy told him to “shut the f*ck up!
Then came the game in 2020 against the Atlanta Falcons when Nagy finally had enough and he benched Trubisky after a horrible interception.
Pace tried to trade for Russell Wilson but the Seattle Seahawks said no. He then turned around and signed Andy Dalton. Dalton is no Wilson but he at least is an upgrade over Trubisky. Fans, upset at not having Wilson, are now throwing Dalton under the bus because of it. He isn’t the greatest quarterback but he can make plays and makes better decisions than Trubisky.
What does the league think of Trubisky?
At the start of the new league year, the Bears decided to part ways with Trubisky. He became a free agent and could sign with any team. What happened? All he could muster was a backup role with the Buffalo Bills for one year for $3.25 million. That is a mere pittance for a quarterback.
Additionally, Trubisky wanted to sign with a team that had a familiar face. Vic Fangio, the former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator, is now the Denver Broncos head coach. Trubisky expressed a desire to compete for a starting job there, but Fangio and the Broncos showed no interest in signing him. Fangio saw a lot of Trubisky and knows what kind of quarterback he was but he had no desire to sign him.
This is what Ross Tucker, a former NFL player and now an analyst, says about the Nagy hate.
I don’t get all the Matt Nagy hate in Chicago. At all. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cs9jo3eipK
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) April 5, 2021
The fact that Nagy squeezed 25 wins out of a Trubisky-led offense says a lot about his coaching. Achieving 28 wins with a subpar roster also shows that. Now let’s see if Pace gives him the roster that shows how good of a coach Nagy really is.