One of the most frustrating things that pops up from time-to-time as a Bears fan in recent years is when you come away from listening to the head coach or general manager and feel as if there is a disconnect with reality. Few things annoy Bears fans like being talked to like we don’t know any better. When the words from the guys up top don’t match what you’re seeing with your eyes, it’s bothersome.
With that being said, I have an appreciation for what Matt Nagy said when asked about what he and Ryan Pace need to do to keep the trust of Bears ownership, given their respective contract statuses this season:
“I think just keeping it very simple, like a lot of teams’ owners and head coaches and general managers, is you’ve got to win. … We know we have support from (ownership), and that’s No. 1. Now it’s just a matter of putting it all together with the players and coaches.”
One of the unavoidable storylines is the long-term future for Pace and Nagy. And if you let Nagy tell it, then it sounds like the Bears’ head coach knows a lot is riding on this season. Which means Pace knows, too, especially since both are now tied to Justin Fields as a building block franchise quarterback. But for how long is anybody’s guess. Unfortunately, the guessing game isn’t all that fun to play when it comes to this particular situation.
Because unless Chicago’s ownership group gave Pace an unannounced extension, his contract will expire at year’s end. Pace was given an opportunity to see it through with the Mitchell Trubisky pick, but no one knows if it is tru for the Fields selection. Being empowered to make the trade-up to draft Fields is one thing. But as we’ve seen elsewhere, simply operating the draft during a lame-duck year doesn’t necessarily equate to long-term job security.
As for Nagy, this is the year before he enters lame-duck status. Guiding the Bears to the postseason twice in the last three years should mean something in terms of earning some goodwill. And yet, there are still real questions surrounding Nagy as a long-term fit. With that in mind, I’d like to see Nagy’s offensive expertise show up in terms of having an offense that finishes in the top half of the league in terms of yards and points. At minimum, a middle-of-the-pack finish would go a long way toward building a case for an extension. But I suppose we can cross that bridge when we get there.
Generally speaking, I don’t love uncertainty at those two spots. Other than quarterback, who your GM and head coach are happen to be the other most-important people in the building. And I certainly don’t like it knowing that continuity is valuable and having it could be beneficial for Fields. We’ve seen some not-so-smooth transitions with a quarterback in the middle of a mess. But it sounds like Nagy and Pace know what’s at stake here. All things considered, that’s a positive thing because knowing is half the battle.
For more from Pace and Nagy, check out the video below: