This was going to be my regularly scheduled Bears Mailbag column.  But with the news leaking to the media last night that the Chicago Bears are likely to retain Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy in 2021, the main purpose of this column changed.

A quick reminder — the Bears’ 2020 season ended with a playoff loss in New Orleans on Sunday.  The Bears held things tight into the second half before unraveling, similar to what happened against the Saints at Soldier Field in Week 8.  The poor offensive performance fueled speculation that major changes were coming.  Alas, it appears things will largely stay the same for another year.

One piece of change, though — it appears Chuck Pagano is retiring, meaning the Bears will have a new defensive coordinator in 2021.

How much of it was a forced retirement is unclear.  But the Bears needed a change here, and they will get one.

However, the Bears haven’t released any news officially yet, so there are a few things that could still be under consideration:

  • Organizational changes to the power structure.  Ted Phillips has long been the Bears’ Team President.  But folks have always believed the Bears need someone reporting directly to the McCaskeys on Football Operations.  Could the Bears install a new role allows for that?  A “President of Football Operations”, for example, who can evaluate Pace and Nagy in 2021 and make the decisions going forward?
  • Reconsidering possible wholesale changes.  The news leaked last night, but usually it’s followed by official team releases.  Maybe the Bears tested the waters by leaking this, and could react to public reaction?

It’ll be a fascinating remainder of the week at Halas Hall, and I, personally, am looking forward to their year-end press conference — whenever it is.

My initial thoughts on the changes?  I’m not entirely surprised, though there are some mandates I’m giving if I’m George McCaskey:

  • “Win or else.”
  • “Don’t mortgage the future.  No wild trades, especially not an insane move up for a QB.”
  • “Move on from Mitch Trubisky.”
  • “Figure out what the new QB can do well (quickly) and run that.”
  • “Fix my salary cap situation.”
  • “Make my football team entertaining again.”

With that, let’s reach into the Mailbag.  Follow me on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

Bears Mailbag