Here’s the thing. Matt Nagy had to give up play-calling. It was the only option left to him that might provide the Chicago Bears offense any sort of spark. However, is it possible there may have been additional reasoning behind his decision? Remember that Nagy resisted all inquiries about the idea going back to 2019. He had no interest in relinquishing the call sheet to anybody.
Then almost out of the blue, he announces he’s handing the call sheet to Bill Lazor just days before a pivotal divisional matchup against Minnesota. The result? Chicago scored six points offensively and managed 149 total yards. So in the end the switch did absolutely nothing. So what was the point?
And maybe that’s exactly why Nagy did it.
A source reached out to me not long after the game with an interesting statement. That Nagy’s decision to go with Lazor was PR-motivated. It was more of a way to get the heat off him for the problems on offense. I wasn’t sure exactly why that would be the case until a realization came up. Perhaps the head coach was trying to send a message that he was never the problem. It’s the Bears roster.
Where it gets really interesting? This exact sentiment was echoed by NFL insider Mike Florio on 670 The Score when asked about the switch to Lazor.
“I don’t think it mattered. Maybe at some level the genius of the decision to let Bill Lazor call the plays was so Matt Nagy could allow people to come to their conclusion that it’s not Matt Nagy’s play-calling that’s the problem. The players aren’t good enough…It’s an issue of talent more than anything else. I know that becomes a delicate conversation in the building because the coach doesn’t want to say, ‘I don’t have good enough players’ because then the coach is throwing the GM under the bus.”
Is Matt Nagy going into survival mode?
That is the reality. Nagy can’t publicly call out Ryan Pace. That would create an incredible amount of media attention that would only add more distractions this Bears team is dealing with. At the same time, as he likes to say, he’s not an idiot. After starting 5-1, the team has dropped to 5-5. The bullseye is squarely on his back. It isn’t the defense that is the problem. It’s the offense. The offense he personally brought with him from Kansas City.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get to bring Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Mitchell Schwartz with him. It isn’t a secret the Bears have lots of problems talent-wise on offense. The only person remotely close to star status is Allen Robinson. Everybody else ranges from okay to really bad. Pile injuries and COVID-19 on top of that this year? You get what fans have had to watch for the past 10 games.
Nagy pointing the finger at Pace isn’t hard to imagine.
Keep this in mind. The Bears have spent close to $90 million in guaranteed money on their offense since 2018 and also four 2nd round picks and a 3rd round pick for James Daniels, Anthony Miller, David Montgomery, and Cole Kmet. Those players just haven’t made a strong enough impact on the team. Miller can’t catch the ball consistently. Montgomery has no explosion and Daniels is injured.
Even before Matt Nagy arrived it was evident Pace couldn’t locate offensive studs. Kevin White? Bust. Mitch Trubisky? Bust. Adam Shaheen? Bust. Those are the setbacks the coach had to absorb when he arrived. He inherited a roster that was not only limited on talent but also a bad fit for the offense he wanted to run. He’s done the best he can to make it work but it just hasn’t.
Now his job is on the line. Ownership is furious. Maybe the only way to save himself was to show everybody that Pace was the real problem.