The Chicago Bears‘ season has kept getting more ridiculous by the day, and the team has several people to thank for it. There’s coach Matt Nagy, whose droll relationship with the press has been less copacetic this year after his team’s 3-4 start and loads of questions about his decision making and time management.
There’s third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who has nine games to change the increasingly disastrous narrative surrounding him, and you also have Ryan Pace, who could have avoided the whole current mess by just drafting Mahomes or Watson to begin with. But what’s done is done, and right now in Chicago, the Bears have a bigger issue: someone on the team has actively lied to the press and in turn the public, and that’s not a good look for an organization that has been trying to rebuild itself for the past two seasons.
Who’s Lying: Nagy, Trubisky, or Piñeiro?
The story is well-known by now. The Bears took a knee with 43 seconds and a timeout left against the Chargers, Mitchell Trubisky spotted the ball at the left hash and kicker Eddy Piñeiro missed it as time expired, sending the Bears to their third straight loss. Missed field goals happen, and the dramas surrounding it would have likely died down, but then Piñeiro spoke to the press on Tuesday, and things got…confusing.
When Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune asked Piñeiro if the ball had been placed at his preferred hash mark, Piñeiro said he did not want to kick from the left hash mark, which was the spot he missed the kick from.
“It’s just the aiming points. I mean the left hash is going to be a different kick than (from) the right hash. And it’s going to be a different kick in the middle.” Then, Wiederer asked if the left hash mark was where he had chosen or wanted to kick from.
“Ummmm, I didn’t. But, I mean, it is what it is.” Almost as though he realized he had made a mistake by revealing that information, Piñeiro said: “You just got me on that one. Damn.”
“I guess. I don’t know,” Piñeiro said when asked if he might have had a better kick from the middle of the field.
Then, on Wednesday, Nagy muddled things further by dancing around the issue instead of being candid and transparent about it, and he came across as a bit of a salesman.
“We have a communication process that we use,” Nagy said. “We understand everything that just went on in this past game and he knows that we know it. For us, we’ve moved on. That’s something that we have a clear communication process, we used it, we’ve all talked about it and we’re literally on to the Eagles for us.”
It’s one thing to give Bill Belichick answers if you win the game and get the results Belichick does. But when you lose and you publicly have players saying opposite things, that’s not what winning–or functional football teams–do.
The main contradiction came when Mitch was asked about the placement of the ball prior to the failed field goal. Trubisky said Wednesday he downed the ball where he was told to down the ball: “Kneel down on the left hash,” Trubisky said. “That’s what we talked about.” But your kicker just publicly stated otherwise, so…
So why is this a story? It’s a story because, for an organization and a head coach who claim to not love drama, they are certainly creating more of it by not answering basic questions like: if the spot was where everyone agreed upon, why did your kicker say the opposite yesterday? That’s really not a difficult question to answer.
And if there was a failed communication issue, just say admit it and move on. But the “communication process” Nagy is talking about clearly didn’t work, and acting as though everything is fine when your quarterback and kicker are saying opposite things is only going to fuel further drama. So is tweeting out cryptic messages about honesty amidst a drama like this–and that’s exactly what safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix did.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Retweets Eric Weddle: Players Want the Truth
Wednesday evening, Clinton-Dix retweeted the following tweet from Rams safety Eric Weddle, which advises management of NFL teams to be upfront about players and their issues:
Clinton-Dix’s tweet may or may not be in reference to his current team and their current situation. Some have already speculated that Nagy is afraid to criticize his quarterback. Perhaps he’s referring to that. When rumors like the ones surrounding this offense are already circulating, tweets like these can only fuel the drama fire. The Bears are determined to ride this season out with Trubisky. Could Clinton-Dix be cryptically commenting on that?
Regardless of the intent of Clinton-Dix when he retweeted Weddle’s plea for honesty and transparency, it is advice the Chicago Bears need to take, and fast.