Matt Nagy isn’t exactly the most popular entity in Chicago sports lately. The Chicago Bears head coach has plenty of critics. Fans believe his constant meddling with the offense has resulted in numerous setbacks. His in-game management has plenty of valleys and not enough peaks. Just looking at the state of the team it doesn’t feel like one that has improved from where it was two years ago. Instead, it’s been on a steady decline. Yet Allen Robinson appears to still believe in the embattled coach.
The star Bears wide receiver call Nagy “my guy” during a weekly press conference a couple of months ago. This during Robinson’s frustrating contract dispute with the team, leading some to wonder if his frustration included the coach. Since then the man has made it his mission to avoid stuff like that and just focus on doing his job. This Robinson did and to great effect. When it comes to where the Bears are now, preparing for a playoff game?
It doesn’t happen without Nagy’s influence.
Everybody knows the story by now. After starting 5-1, the Bears endured a six-game losing streak. One of the longest in the past 18 years. A brutal slog that included blowouts and late-game collapses. Just like that, the Bears were 5-7, and their season all but dead. Yet Nagy wasn’t ready to surrender just yet. Prior to their game against Houston, the coach gave his players something to remind them they could still make the playoffs happen.
Matt Nagy gave all his players this card a month ago to keep their eyes on the possibility that they'd make the playoffs. (Pardon the glare.) pic.twitter.com/RrUO6VVrMY
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) January 4, 2021
The Bears clobbered the Texans 36-7, starting a three-game win streak that got them to a pivotal eight wins, enabling them to sneak into the postseason as a 7th seed. One person who took Nagy’s message seriously was Robinson himself according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. He felt the coach was right. This team was good enough to make it happen.
Some might construe the cards as a gimmick, but wide receiver Allen Robinson hung his in his locker, confident the Bears had what it took to make the message count.
“We went through a tough patch at that point in time, but I knew the players that we have, I knew the team that we have, and that we could pull some wins together to be able to give ourselves a shot, which we did,” Robinson said.
Allen Robinson isn’t the only one crediting Nagy either
Former All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham said the head coach literally did everything in his power to keep the team focused and motivated. Nothing was off-limits to get them back in the win column. He called his effort and unwillingness to surrender something “special.” If people were looking for a reason why the Bears are unlikely to fire Nagy this offseason, this would be one of them.
Rumors continue to circulate that a lot of fates hang in the balance this Sunday. A bad loss in New Orleans to the Saints could end up costing some people their jobs. Some believe Nagy is or at least should be one of them. Based on what Allen Robinson and others continue to say? That feels like a long shot. The man hasn’t had a losing season yet in his career. He’s made the playoffs twice even if this year required a lot of help.
Combine that with two years left on his contract?
It’s easy to understand why most media outlets believe he will be back. GM Ryan Pace on the other hand? He’s a different story. Drafting Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. Signing Robert Quinn for $70 million. Trading for Nick Foles. Failing to secure Robinson to a long-term deal. These are all major blunders the man can’t hide from in spite of some of his recent draft successes. If the Bears fall this weekend, it’s possible Nagy could be working with a new GM later this year.