Bears hit reset button by firing Nagy and Pace

Both were relieved of their duties on Jan. 10 after four disappointing seasons

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AP

Matt Nagy (right) and Ryan Pace (left), who were both fired on January 10, at Bears practice in July 2019

On Jan. 11, the Chicago Bears parted ways with head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. Nagy had been the Bears’ head coach for four seasons, while Pace had just finished his seventh season as the general manager. 

It still baffles me that it took this long for the Bears to fire Nagy. Game after game, the Bears kept making countless mental errors and embarrassing themselves in front of national audiences.”

— Murray

After finishing the season with a 6-11 record, it only made sense for the Bears to clean house. Since 2018, when the Bears won the NFC North and went 12-4, the team has been incredibly underwhelming and has posted three straight seasons with 8 or fewer wins. 

The past three seasons, though, weren’t the main reason why Bears fans have been so frustrated with Nagy. When he was hired in 2018, Nagy was considered one of the best offensive minds in the entire NFL, and the hope was that he would be able to develop former Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky into a franchise quarterback.

The results were more than frustrating. Instead of having one of the most fun offenses in the NFL, the Bears offense was actually a liability. Game after game, the offense couldn’t move the ball and couldn’t generate any explosive plays. Even with a new QB this year in rookie Justin Fields, the Bears offense was still horrendous. In fact, the Bears posted 47 total yards in Week 3 against the Browns, one of the worst performances in NFL history.

It still baffles me that it took this long for the Bears to fire Nagy. Game after game, the Bears kept making countless mental errors and embarrassing themselves in front of national audiences, including the 38-3 loss against the Buccaneers and the 17-9 loss at home against the Vikings. 

With both Nagy and Pace gone, it gives the Bears a chance to fix their previous mistakes, and the new regime has a real chance to take this team to the next level.

The Bears have multiple foundational pieces to build around. On offense, Fields had moments where he flashed superstar potential, and RB David Montgomery and WR Darnell Mooney have both proven that they can be great players in the NFL. On defense, the Bears return four all-pros in linebackers Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith, and free safety Eddie Jackson, not to mention that Akiem Hicks is one of the best defensive linemen in the league and Jaylon Johnson has shown that he can be one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. The pieces are there for the Bears to become a playoff contender, especially with the Bears having over $50 million in projected cap space.

The success of this team hinges on whether George McCaskey, the chairman of the Bears, can make the right decision. McCaskey has been notorious among the Bears’ fanbase for his inability to adapt to the modern NFL, and has angered many Bears fans after calling former Bears offensive lineman Olin Kreutz a liar after Kreutz shared that the Bears offered him $15/hour to coach the offensive line. As uninspiring as McCaskey has been, he has a chance to redeem himself if he can hire the right head coach and general manager for the upcoming season. The Bears arguably haven’t had a QB as talented as Fields in their 100-year history, so if McCaskey can hire the right players to support him, he can drastically change the narrative regarding this franchise.