Bears HC Matt Nagy, GM Ryan Pace Facing Uncertain Futures

Bears head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace are facing uncertain futures in Chicago, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link). The Bears are mired in a six-game losing streak after starting the season 5-1, and it appears a major shakeup could be on the way.

Nagy’s seat has been getting hotter as the losing streak has continued, and a report surfaced last week that the Bears are more likely than not to fire their third-year HC at season’s end. If that happens, the club is said to be very interested in Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, though it’s unclear if Fitzgerald would want to make the jump from the college ranks to the pros.

Nagy, who served as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for two seasons before getting the Bears’ HC gig, was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 2018, his first year at the helm. Under his watch, the Bears won the NFC North and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2010, and while the team was ousted in the wild card round — thanks to the notorious double-doink missed field goal — the arrow seemed to be pointing up.

That was especially true since Mitch Trubisky took a major step forward with Nagy, earning a Pro Bowl nod at the end of that 2018 season and posting a 95.4 QB rating. Since then, however, it’s been all downhill for both men. The Bears slipped to an 8-8 record last year, Trubisky saw his fifth-year option declined in May, and he lost his starting job to Nick Foles earlier this season. The Bears have been near the bottom of the league in total offense in each of the past two years, not a good look for an offensive-minded coach like Nagy.

Pace, meanwhile, became the Bears’ GM in 2015 and presided over three consecutive fourth-place finishes in the NFC North before the Nagy hire appeared to right the ship. Although plenty of GMs and pundits were high on Trubisky in advance of the 2017 draft, Pace’s decision to trade four draft picks to move up from the No. 3 overall selection to the No. 2 overall pick to acquire him was widely panned at the time, and the deal has not aged well. While Trubisky has failed to live up to his draft status, 2017 draftmates Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes have become premier signal-callers.

Pace has certainly had his good moments, but one playoff appearance in six seasons generally does not make a club keen to maintain the status quo. The Bears could be in the market for a new GM, a new HC, and a first-round quarterback when the calendar flips to 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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