The Chicago Bears started the 2020 season 5-1. They were flying high and looking like a contender for the #1 seed in the NFC. Following the loss on Sunday in New Orleans, they ended the final 11 games with a 3-8 mark. People like to focus on the three-game winning streak head coach Matt Nagy pulled off in December, but anybody with common sense can say he was aided by a cupcake list of opponents. Is that so easily going to convince George McCaskey he deserves another year?
No, it isn’t. The first bit of interesting news that came after a deflating 21-9 loss to the Saints was how the Bears announced that both Nagy and GM Ryan Pace weren’t made immediately available in their year-end press conference. It was stated that scheduling would get that figured out later in the week. As a reminder, it took place two days after the end of the 2019 season last year. So this is a significant alteration.
What could it mean?
Some people are afraid the longer McCaskey stays silent, the more likely it is the Bears won’t make changes. According to a source, that is not the case. It’s the opposite. The feeling is around Halas Hall that the lengthy silence more likely means changes are being considered. Significant changes. McCaskey is getting a sense of what he wants to do and have an action plan in place.
Could this mean a full housecleaning? Yes. It’s not a guarantee. The possibility is still there that Nagy is retained among others. However, the overwhelming sense is that changes of some kind are coming. It’s a matter of how sweeping they are.
George McCaskey decision hinges on the QB question
It was painfully evident yet again that Mitch Trubisky was unequal to the task in New Orleans when confronted with a good defense. He managed just 199 yards passing and a touchdown. Most of that coming on the final drive of the game when the Bears trailed 21-3 and it was long since decided. It’s obvious the Bears will likely go in a different direction. The big question is can Nagy and Pace sell McCaskey on a plan to fix it?
Pace doesn’t have a lot of credibility to his name. He drafted Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. He signed Mike Glennon and he traded for Nick Foles. All of those moves have blown up in his face. Now he has one year left on his contract. Do the Bears really want to entrust their possible future at the position to him once again? Especially when the coach he handpicked apparently can’t construct a functional offense.
There really isn’t a clear path forward at the position.
Not one that involves winning immediately. Dak Prescott is the top free agent but he likely won’t make it out of Dallas. Deshaun Watson is a popular topic in trade circles but he’ll be ludicrously expensive. Matthew Stafford? He’d be possible if he didn’t play for a division rival. Sam Darnold would be a reclamation project. The veteran options just aren’t realistic, which leaves the draft.
If that is the route the Bears go, why would George McCaskey bother with Pace and Nagy? There is no way the team would produce a winning season with a rookie QB barring a miracle. So the common sense thing to do in that scenario is starting fresh. A new GM and head coach combination with long contracts to see the rebuilding process through.