If you ask me, we’re well past the point of simply hinting at any potential change coming to Chicago’s football team in the near future, because at this rate, it feels inevitable – especially when some of the bigger national names start weighing in on what’s happening.
For example, you can add long-time NFL reporter Peter King to the chorus of voices who believe change is on the horizon for the Bears.
“I’ll be very surprised if some significant change isn’t made at the top of the Bears football operations,” King said in a discussion about the team’s future with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “There’s just too much that has gone wrong.”
Peter King won’t get an argument from me, as too much has gone wrong over the last two years to keep things going as is. HOWEVA … King’s framing of what those changes could look like certainly piques my interest.
To be clear, King is relaying that he envisions “significant change” at the top of the organizational ladder. And to me, that suggests removing GM Ryan Pace and possibly President Ted Phillips (if he doesn’t retire in the meantime). What King seems hesitant to do, however, is to lump Head Coach Matt Nagy into the part of the group that gets launched at seasons end. That isn’t inconsequential.
In fact, King says he would rather see the organization move on from Pace, retain Nagy, and let the coach and the next GM attack the QB situation while on the same timeline.
“I think that I would rather have, if they’re going to do something, I would rather see them fire Pace and keep Nagy, and also be able to pick his next quarterback.”
It’s essentially a vote of confidence from King, who suggests Nagy would get another shot at a head-coaching gig if he lands as a successful offensive coordinator in 2021. So what King is suggesting here is that the Bears thread the needle with a GM who wants to work with Nagy and solve the QB problem on a parallel track. Threading the needle this way is risky (and all things considered, you strongly prefer not to hamstring a new GM with *anything* from the past). But it’s a risk King seems to believe is worth taking, because he feels strongly about Nagy’s coaching ability.
And, hey, we’ve seen teams operate with the GM and head coach not being on parallel tracks before. So King’s direction isn’t particularly out-the-box. Theoretically, you’d prefer a fresh start across the board to allow the next GM full clearance to take things in the direction, but providing the next GM the opportunity (responsibility?) to decide Nagy’s fate isn’t wholly a bad idea. After all, one reason we’re discussing this is because of a desire to have football people making football decisions, not Ted Phillips or the Bears ownership group.
In the end, just add King to the list of reporters who see change coming for Chicago’s football team. The Bears have been a remarkably fast sinking ship since the end of the 2018 season. Since the start of the 2019 calendar year, the Bears have gone 13-16. At some point, someone has to take the fall for the last two years. And by the sound of things, it very well could start at the top of the chain of command. But if it doesn’t include a change at head coach, is it really change at all?
For more from King and Florio, check out the video embedded below: