Not only did hiring the 39-year-old Matt Nagy mimic the successful head coach hires of the Rams (Sean McVay) and Eagles (Doug Pederson) in recent years, but the Bears also went out of their way to avoid making the same mistakes of the past.
Indeed, hiring a head coach who doubles as the team’s play caller was the best way to give Mitch Trubisky a fighting chance, and that’s just what the Bears did.
The alternative may not seem like such a bad idea, of course, but it really could have been damaging to the young QB and, thus, the Bears as a whole. In fact, we’ve seen it materialize into a problem with this franchise before – look no further than Jay Cutler’s career in Chicago.
By the time Fox arrived in 2015, he was installing Adam Gase as Cutler’s fifth offensive coordinator in a seven-year stretch that started in 2009. The revolving door of coordinators (Ron Turner, Mike Martz, Mike Tice, Aaron Kromer) didn’t do any favors for a player who battled inconsistencies in his play while learning four different offenses along the way. And just when Cutler found himself settled with Gase, a coordinator who game-planned with Cutler’s strengths (and weaknesses) in mind, it was over (Gase parlayed Cutler’s career-best 92.3 rating into becoming the Miami Dolphins head coach. That left the Bears to promote Dowell Loggains from within in 2016, but he was never able to recapture the magic Cutler and Gase had in their year together. Sounds about right.). Go figure.
Trubisky won’t have to go through those horrors, though, because his general manager hired a head coach and offensive play caller in one person. With Nagy in full control of the offense, Trubisky will hear one message from one voice who shouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon (unlike offensive coordinators, who are often poached in-between seasons).
Whether Nagy turns out to be the right hire by Pace remains to be seen. But all things considered, the Bears had no choice but to make the decision they did. Now, their hope is that a sound process yields good results.