Even though the Chicago Bears aren’t taking advantage of a new rule put in place by the NFL that allows teams to interview head-coaching candidates during the final two weeks of the regular season, change still appears to be on the horizon.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the Bears are expected to start their search for a replacement for Matt Nagy after the conclusion of this regular season.
In other words, this vibes with what Nagy told reporters last week about how he was working under the assumption he’ll be coaching as the team plays out the string in the final two games. And it also lines up with how the McCaskey family tends to do business. The Bears have never made an in-season firing of a head coach. Instead, the franchise did what it always does in always opting to let things play out. Yes, even in situations in which change seems obviously apparent. Nagy’s situation looks to be one of those as he is set to close out his fourth (and presumably, final) season with the team.
Nagy, 43, has led the Bears to a 33-30 record and two playoff trips in his first three years. But a 5-10 showing to this point of the 2021 campaign turned up the hot seat. Tack on three+ years of offensive shortcomings from an offensive leaning head coach. Plus two seasons of quarterback malaise featuring Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton, and Justin Fields. And all of a sudden, you have a pile-up of points against the head coach. At the end of the day, the NFL operates as a “make-or-miss” league. And with the Bears missing the postseason two of the last three years with a record of 21-26 over the last 47 games, there is no wonder Rapoport writes “Nagy’s associates and others close to him sound resigned to an unhappy ending to his Bears tenure.”
For what it’s worth, Nagy’s firing has felt inevitable for some time. There was a case to part ways last season. However, the Bears chose to see this through to the end. The end result is the team’s first losing season since 2017 and a year where speculation regarding Nagy’s future has run rampant. There has been chatter regarding the Bears considering Nagy replacements since October. And the buzz hasn’t been silenced any. There’s been rumors about players wanting the coach out, fans voicing their displeasure to “Fire Nagy!” while at multiple regional sports events, and an incredibly awkward situation in which a report suggesting Nagy was told he will be let go after Thanksgiving only to be left hanging as the organization waited days to address said report.
Even though the job isn’t open yet, it hasn’t stopped any rumors underscoring potential replacement targets and possibilities. The Bears gig should have folks “begging to get an audience” with the team this offseason. And for Chicago, that begins after the season finale concludes on Jan. 9. Brace yourselves, Bears fans. Winter is here, and change is coming.