Matt Nagy escaped Detroit with his first win since Las Vegas in Week 5. It ended a five-game losing streak and he needed the winless Lions to help pull it off. Nothing about the Thanksgiving affair suggests the Chicago Bears suddenly figured things out. They barely beat the worst team in football with a last-second field goal. It was a moment of relief for the head coach after enduring a previous 72 hours one nightmare after another.
First the blowback from the collapse against Baltimore on Sunday. Then the report that an “overwhelming” number of players in the locker room want him gone. Last but certainly not least? The explosive Patch.com report that the Bears planned to fire him following the Lions game. This kicked off a firestorm of speculation. One that required George McCaskey to personally assure both him and the locker room it wasn’t true.
So that’s that, right?
Not exactly. One of the people who reported the carnage behind the scenes in the wake of that report was Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. He revealed how Nagy was blindsided by the news, had to meet with McCaskey to see if it was true, and how the locker room didn’t receive his eventual speech on it particularly well. After having another 24 hours to digest everything? Biggs seems convinced there was an element of truth to that firing report and the leak might’ve caused things to change.
“No one else involved with the organization deserves credit for overcoming distractions because it’s impossible to convince me the “Nagy will be fired after Thursday” story didn’t originate from the team. To what degree the story evolved as it was passed along, I would be only guessing. Once the Bears lost control of things Tuesday, I imagine that’s when plans changed on the fly, especially knowing a public relations disaster would not impress anyone the team is potentially interested in pursuing in the future. That’s my hunch on the matter.”
In other words, the Bears may actually have planned to fire Nagy. However, the leak caused an uproar they weren’t prepared to handle. So rather than address it head-on and create a media firestorm, they opted to change course and just keep the head coach on board. One person who believes this is a possibility is Mark Konkol, the writer of the Patch.com article. He wrote another column on Friday to address the situation.
“Did I get bamboozled when a trusted source, in the position to know, told me Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy was told he would not be on the sidelines after Thanksgiving?
Or did something change at Halas Hall after I reported what the high-level source told me?
I don’t know.”
If this is true, then the Bears’ own ineptitude saved Matt Nagy
How ironic is that? Not only did they get his hiring wrong, but they somehow can’t even fire the guy correctly. Now after making it clear to the team firing Nagy after Thanksgiving wasn’t true, McCaskey has painted himself into a corner. He can’t possibly fire the head coach at any point before the end of the season. Otherwise, he’d be viewed as a liar, which would damage the team’s chances of luring top coaching candidates to Chicago.
Whoever it was that believed Matt Nagy was gone probably should’ve kept their mouth shut. Then maybe McCaskey would’ve had the guts to make the decision to part ways. Instead, the status quo remains unchanged. The Bears move to 4-7 with a banged-up roster and a coach who likely knows he is done just over a month from now. Arizona and Green Bay are next on the schedule.
That should be fun.
At this point, the only thing for fans to do is to be patient and hope Justin Fields continues to show signs of progress. He is the focal point of their future. Come January, the Bears will have to find somebody who can put a proper system around him. One has to hope Nagy doesn’t get him killed before then.