Is Chicago Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy’s job safe beyond this season? Is general manager Ryan Pace’s? A few different NFL insiders have weighed in, with interesting results.
After starting out 5-1 this season, the Bears have fallen to 5-5, losing four in a row and looking ugly while doing it. With Matt Nagy’s offense currently ranked 31st in total offense and last in rushing offense, analysts and insiders alike seem to think Nagy’s job is in jeopardy. What’s surprising is what one former GM said about the future of Pace.
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Chris Simms, Adam Jahns Believe Matt Nagy’s Days Could Be Numbered in Chicago
Former quarterback and current analyst and insider Chris Simms said he thinks Nagy’s job is somewhat secure at present, but will be in jeopardy if he doesn’t find a way to stop the bleeding. “The pressure’s on in a big time way, especially on the offensive side of the ball,” Simms said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “I think Matt Nagy and company are going to be fighting for their future to a degree, in some way, shape or form, down the stretch of the season. I’m not saying he’s on the hot seat to get fired, but if it collapses here down the stretch and they lose their last six games, then he is going to be in the hot seat, and he probably is going to get fired.”
The Athletic’s Adam Jahns agrees. Jahns was asked by Windy City Gridiron’s Bill Zimmerman whether he felt Nagy was on the hot seat, and Jahns answered in the affirmative. “Yes. And I don’t want to overrate the importance of these next six games because I don’t think the quarterback conundrum is going to change over the next six weeks,” Jahns said. “The record (Nagy is 25-17 since his arrival in 2018) is important. But I’ve said all along, it would take some sort of collapse for the Bears’ brass to feel differently. We’re in the middle of that collapse right now. Can Matt Nagy stop it?”
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Ex-GM Michael Lombardi Believes Bears GM Ryan Pace Has ‘Endeared Himself’
Former NFL executive and current insider Michael Lombardi appeared on 670 The Score’s Mully & Haugh Show last week, and he discussed the current situation in Chicago. Lombardi noted that the offensive line needs to be prioritized and fixed this offseason, and he also stressed the importance of Chicago finally addressing the quarterback position. When he was asked whether general manager Ryan Pace, like Nagy, could be on the chopping block if the season continues to spiral out of control, Lombardi gave a somewhat surprising answer:
“They don’t want the truth at Halas Hall,” Lombardi said, adding that his sources are telling him Pace is safe, at least for another year: “Everybody thinks that Pace is safe. I think the word around the league is that he’s endeared himself to the (McCaskey) family. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he would be back. Now, maybe that’s because nobody really knows and they expect that.”
Lombardi also added that while he thinks Pace’s job is secure no matter what, Chicago’s current GM is lucky to still have a job.
“If you’re (Bears President and CEO) Ted Phillips, you have to take a step back and say: ‘Here’s where we are. This general manager really cost us a $100-million mistake in a sense — we passed on a really good player,'” Lombardi said, referencing Pace’s decision to draft Mitch Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017.
“That alone should get somebody fired. When you enter the NFL, me included, when you enter the NFL and you make that mistake, you know you’re not going to keep your job. If you keep your job after that mistake, you’re really, really a blessed person … When you walk into this arena, and you get paid millions of dollars … You make a mistake like that, typically that’s going to cost your job. If it doesn’t, then you’re lucky.”