Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy may have saved his job at Windy City by leading an 8-8 team to the playoffs last season.
Since his fall to the New Orleans Saints in the wild card tour last January, things have apparently gone downhill for Nagy and his Bears.
Primarily, it was about the quarterback position. Equally hot under his seat, general manager Ryan Pace failed to add a big name caller in a trade. Chicago did a play for Russell Wilson. In vain. The team was also aware of Deshaun Watson before allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against him.
Instead, Chicago went there and signed a one-year contract with veteran journeyman Andy Dalton – guaranteeing him the first job immediately. Despite this, the Bears’ brass exhausted their future capital to trade for quarterback Justin Fields in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
With Dalton out with a knee injury in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns, Fields secured his first start in the NFL. To say it didn’t go too well would be an understatement. With Matt Nagy calling the shots on offense, the Ohio State product completed 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards while being sacked nine times.
The kid had a net yard pass as Chicago gained 47 yards total on 42 games in a 26-6 loss. This is something that has actually happened in the modern NFL. And that leads us to question Nagy’s position in Chicago to move forward.
Adapt or Die, the anti Matt Nagy
You’d think a screen or two should have been in the cards on Sunday with Chicago’s offensive line completely overwhelmed by the Browns’ defensive line. This does not happen. Running back David Montgomery has only been targeted twice.
Most of this information is not on Fields. He’s a beginner. He had a less than stellar matchup against what is one hell of a good defense for the Browns.
Instead of putting his quarterback in a position to succeed, Matt Nagy threw him into the fire without even adjusting his playbook. This led to Fields being sacked eight times, including 4.5 times by Myles Garrett.
Even Chicago backup quarterback Nick Foles could be seen saying that “the offense does not work”To the aforementioned Dalton.
Justin Fields is the franchise, not Matt Nagy
It’s somewhat surprising that the Chicago property group allowed Nagy and Pace to trade for Fields last spring. Prior to the draft, reports suggested the Bears didn’t want this sluggish duo to deplete future capital when they might not be around for the long haul.
Said trade with the New York Giants included Chicago sending its first-round pick in 2022 and two mid-round picks further east. This is the clearest indication to date that Fields is the franchise. Chicago will return to relevance with him leading the charge or continue to be mired in mediocrity.
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The backdrop here is a potential ruin of Fields by Nagy and his archaic offense. It sounds like disgraced former Miami Dolphins and New York Jets head coach Adam Gase. Remember how much Ryan Tannehill and Sam Darnold struggled under his watch? Now watch how well they play with quality coaching.
In short, Matt Nagy could end up ruining Justin Fields. We saw this Sunday afternoon firsthand in Cleveland. Now is the time for the Bears to end this experience and give someone else a chance to help Fields grow.
In the short term, that could include quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo taking over as interim before Chicago throws a wide net to replace Nagy after the 2021 season.