Bears Expected To Retain Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy

The Bears will need to hire a new defensive coordinator, but their power structure is otherwise expected to remain in place.

Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace are expected to stay on in their respective roles, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Pace has been with the Bears since the 2015 season, hiring Nagy in 2018. The results have been mixed, and one fateful draft decision has largely defined this era of Bears football, but it appears ownership is content after a second playoff berth in three seasons.

Pace’s decision to trade up to No. 2 overall and draft Mitchell Trubisky has proven to be one of the modern draft’s premier missteps, with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson becoming superstars fairly quickly while Trubisky struggled. The Bears declined Trubisky’s fifth-year option, and Nagy benched the embattled starter in September. However, the Bears turned back to their young passer late this season and managed to make the playoffs despite a six-game losing streak. The Saints then dispatched the NFC’s No. 7 seeded-squad in a game that saw the Bears gain just 140 yards prior to a garbage-time drive.

While Pace did well to build a championship-caliber defense — trading for Khalil Mack, signing Akiem Hicks and drafting Eddie Jackson and Roquan Smith — Chicago’s offenses have capped that unit’s relevance. The Bears lost DC Vic Fangio after the 2018 season and will now be searching for a successor to the retiring Chuck Pagano. Chicago’s defense has ranked in the top 10 in DVOA over the past three seasons, but some of its key players — Mack, Hicks, Danny Trevathan and Robert Quinn — are either north of 30 or will be by the 2021 season.

Nagy earned Coach of the Year honors in 2018, with the ex-Chiefs OC elevating Trubisky considerably that year and ending a seven-season Bears playoff drought. The Bears finished fourth in the NFC North in each of the three Pace-John Fox seasons, but their 2018 slate did not prove to be an indication of an imminent ascent. The team has gone 8-8 in each of the past two years and has ranked no higher than 22nd in scoring or total offense in that span, despite the 2020 playoff berth in an expanded postseason.

It is not certain if Nagy will have a new quarterback to work with in 2021, but is does look like the young head coach has done enough to earn a fourth season in Chicago. The team still has Nick Foles under contract for 2021 but will add another starting-caliber passer — via Trubisky extension or via outside acquisition — ahead of next season. The Bears have also featured little in the way of proven weaponry outside of Allen Robinson, who is a free agent. Pace’s work reassembling Chicago’s offense this offseason will go a long way toward determining his and Nagy’s long-term futures.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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36 comments on “Bears Expected To Retain Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy

  1. despicable_you

    I’ll give Nagy a pass, but pace has to go, his botched drafts have this franchise in a bad place

    • dray16

      I disagree, he’s had good drafts, he just has no clue about QB. I’m glad he’s getting another chance.

      • Superbear29

        He never learned how to draft a QB it’s not like his old boss at NO ever drafted one either. Got lucky that Saban refused the Brees deal did Loomis.

      • twentyforty

        You can’t have a “good draft” if your most important pick is an epic failure.

        • rondon

          twenty forty… That decision set them back 5 years and to risk further QB draft picks with Pace is delusional

          • ghostoforsillo

            And bringing him back to do it again will set the team back another five years

  2. Sam

    Great, 2 wildcard playoff exits and a roster trending in the wrong direction somehow qualifies as job security. #IfIWasCoachOfDaBearsWedAtLeastGet10Wins

  3. arty!

    When do we get to compare/grade the Mack trade? Technically, the Bears have had a better record but man that O can put anyone to sleep.

    • louwhitakerisahofer

      Exactly! Mack obviously ha made the team better, but not having the draft capital to put towards building a more productive offense has definitely hurt them in the long run.

  4. AGuilty

    Nagy gets one more year, I’m good with that. Pace though? That pretty disappointing! It’s not hard to figure out the problem. He had better draft the best he ever has this off season. I can’t believe he’s getting another year..

    • metsie1

      Whew. I was worried the Bears were going to fire everyone. They need to get Trubisky re-signed ASAP. He’s almost as good as Jay Cutler!

      • wagner13

        Bears fans don’t want to hear this, but Jay Cutler was by far the most talented quarterback in team history. That’s more a testament to Chicago’s lack of quarterback success than Cutler himself

        • crosseyedlemon

          Cutler was also the biggest pain in the azz in team history. He was a chronic whiner, always looking to blame someone else when things went wrong. He was high maintenance and would sulk whenever he couldn’t attract as much attention as Aaron Rodgers.

  5. tjbarnaba

    The reason so many teams stay mediocre is lack of continuity year to year, and that’s the fans fault. All these people complaining about this guy and that guy need to go, and your team ends up right back in the toilet. It’s embarrassing so many of you call yourselves fans of this sport with so little understanding of the game itself.

    • tim2686

      The problem here is that Nagy was billed as an offensive guru and shouts to the roofs about being a team first coach. Granted he hasn’t had the best playmakers on offense, but none of these 3 years have proven to be even mediocre offenses. Trubisky has actually declined since 2018, Nagy chooses not to run when this year he had a top 5 RB in the league, and the team is more broken then it seems. He lets the team fall for him. I mean you can’t tell me that Miller’s stupid ejection was not the coach’s fault too. He might be a good coordinator, but head coach is a stretch.

      • rondon

        That’s because Trubisky just plain doesn’t have franchise QB talent. Pace drafting him was a monumental mistake. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s–t.

    • crosseyedlemon

      So it’s my fault all these GM and coaching candidates want to seek out career opportunities with other organizations? I’m so embarrassed.

  6. nentwigs

    Why does the wife of the Chicago Bears head coach never complain about the countless hours he spends away from home performing his job?

    When he’s at home, he is always NAGY !!

  7. JohnTheSportsFanatic

    You can’t make this up. So happy I’m not a Bears fan.

  8. Yep it is

    So let’s run back the same 8-8 crap with the same idiot in the front office. Unbelievable.

  9. jfive

    The Chicago Bears, aka the Cleveland, scratch that, the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFC

  10. crosseyedlemon

    Time to bring Lovie Smith back to Chicago and make him the DC.

  11. Quentin

    I swear this franchise is enamored with mediocrity. As long as they aren’t great (too much pressure for them) or aren’t terrible (though they are pretty close to it), they love being mediocre.

  12. JackWalsh

    Unbelievable. Pace, Nagy, and Trubisky all need to be gone next year if we want to do anything.

  13. ghostoforsillo

    The Bears will Bear…..the bengals and now the bears… in the same. Inept leadership only concerned about cashing checks and not carrying enough about the product on the field. This franchise deserves better. 8-8 here we come again. ARob is out, you have Foles under center next year?! You won’t feed Montgomery, who is your team’s offensive identity and you’ve wasted two more years of this aging defense. Blow this sh*t up and start over. Ted Phillips has to go. He’s the reason we didn’t sign Chris Ballard before we got left with Pace. Pace will set us back again with his lack of QB acumen…..ugh!!!!!

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