Mark Konkol, a seasoned reporter who has a Pulitzer Prize (among other highlights) on his résumé, reports the Matt Nagy era will come to an end after the Bears-Lions Thanksgiving throw down on Thursday. Moreover, the report indicates that Nagy was told of the decision on Monday after Chicago’s Sunday loss to the Ravens.
— Mark Konkol (@Konkolskorner) November 23, 2021
Konkol has since doubled down twice in radio interviews on WGN-AM 720 and ESPN-AM 1000:
We just had @Konkolskorner on @kapjhood on @espn1000 to discuss his story https://t.co/ik9Bu1Jcdc. "I'm not like you guys. I'm not in the mix everyday. I'm just going to tell you I have a really good source on this. I'm pretty confident that this is going to be his last game."
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) November 23, 2021
Konkol said he trusts his source enough to have gone with the story. No confirmation from the team, yet… https://t.co/d8BTrBZS9j
— Jordan Bernfield (@jordanbernfield) November 23, 2021
The Chicago Bears have never fired a head coach during the season, so for all the expectation (and chanting) about a Nagy firing eventually, this is still a really startling report. Nagy out, and he already knows it? That’s an eye-opener.
It is within the realm of possibilities the Bears were planning to do this, and, if so, wouldn’t have wanted it to leak beforehand. But then it leaked. Now what? The obvious question would be to ask why let him coach Thursday if the plan was to bounce him afterward. Simply put, the logistics of dismissing a coach on a four-day turnaround week are nightmarish for the players, staffers, and organization from top to bottom. And the optics that come with letting someone go during the holidays are already bad enough for a “family-run organization.” (The Bulls took some guff for this for holiday firings of Bill Cartwright and Scott Skiles, so this isn’t new to the Chicago sports landscape.)
Still, if the report is accurate, the firing is coming regardless of the holidays and regardless of the leak. This could be a really awkward few days.
As for the potential firing, it feels like the time has come for a change in direction. Things are getting ugly at and around Halas Hall. It sounds like it’s an every man for himself royal rumble in the Bears’ sphere. One day after “Fire Nagy! chants engulfed Soldier Field, they were being heard at the United Center during Monday’s Bulls-Pacers game. Bears players are “pissed” and seem to be hitting a breaking point. There was even a report that an “overwhelming number” of Bears players want Nagy fired. It all adds up to a messy situation that needs immediate attention, if not a full-on house cleaning.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation as updates become available. Surely, more will come soon. Like, in a couple hours, for example:
Just pulled up to Halas Hall. Matt Nagy is scheduled to speak in less than two hours. pic.twitter.com/Vd4nKQiU6E
— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) November 23, 2021