Allen Robinson sounds like a man resigned to his fate these days. He doesn’t seem to think the Chicago Bears are serious about retaining him long-term despite obvious reasons to do so. Otherwise, why break off negotiations all the way back in October? The wide receiver doesn’t have an answer for that. It’s why expectations are he’s looking for an exit door. No doubt hoping the team chooses not to exercise their franchise tag option.
However, it appears his reasons for wanting to leave go beyond that. The Bears no longer have a definitive answer at quarterback. Mitch Trubisky is a free agent. Nick Foles isn’t a starter. Robinson has played with subpar QBs his entire career. Why would he want to stick around and waste more of his prime waiting for this team to finally figure it out?
It gets better though. There is also the head coach.
Robinson isn’t one for starting controversies. He’s a team player and has stated on several occasions he likes Matt Nagy. That being said, he never gave a similar indication of Nagy’s offense. While speaking to Carmen & Jurko on ESPN 1000, he let something slip about the state of the Bears offense at the end of the season. Something that seemed to confirm a theory several fans had.
Allen Robinson said the last time his agent and the Chicago Bears had any talks about an extension was early in the season.
Robinson said he isn't sure which coach was calling plays in the last couple of games of the season.
(Via ESPN’s 1000’s Carmen and Jurko Show)
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) January 12, 2021
After going with a scheme that featured a strong commitment to the running game, lots of play action, and bootlegs it felt like a lot of tendencies from when Nagy was calling plays began to return. Excessive passing, too many inside zone runs, and a general lack of clarity on what the offense was trying to do. This led many to wonder if the head coach had resumed some sort of control over the play-calling from coordinator Bill Lazor. Robinson’s confusion on the subjects offers some proof of this.
Allen Robinson can’t trust Nagy to use him correctly
One thing that has been prevalent is Nagy’s unusual personnel usage. The willingness to give notable snaps to backup players and how he doesn’t seem able to scheme the ball into the hands of his top stars. His own assistants have said the system isn’t built that way. It’s built around the QB making the right read and throwing to one side of the field or the other based on coverage. This is why it took so long to get Cole Kmet more involved in the offense and it’s why Robinson wasn’t always the focal point of the passing game.
The loss in New Orleans to the Saints is a perfect example. His game ended with just six catches for 55 yards and most of that came in the second half when the score was already getting out of hand. He was practically invisible int he first. Not because the Saints erased him but because the Bears just never seemed to go in his direction. It was a glaring miscalculation by the game plan in the most important contest of the season.
This is where the root of the frustrations lay with Nagy.
Rather than do the obvious and get the ball in the hands of your best players, Nagy seems too obsessed with his scheme. He wants to find the perfect play. He wants to look like a genius. This is why the players look confused so often, leading to penalties, poor execution, and unnecessary timeouts. Allen Robinson not wanting to endure more of that is perfectly normal.