Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Chicago Bears Running Into Troubling Issue With Coaching Search

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Matt Nagy won’t be fired midseason. George McCaskey made that clear with his message to the Chicago Bears locker room during Thanksgiving week. However, most insiders agree the head coach is on borrowed time. It is all but a certainty that Nagy will be gone by next month. Ownership wants to find somebody that can get Justin Fields pointed in the right direction. This is a good thing. However, there might be a problem.



SM reported a few weeks ago that early research is being done on possible candidates. Reports have circulated that the Bears job is widely viewed as one of the best on the market due to Fields’ presence. Yet according to a source, there is something that is giving some of those candidates for the job pause. The presence of Ryan Pace. Specifically in regards to McCaskey’s unwillingness to commit on whether the GM would remain in in the picture or not.

Certain names aren’t interested in coming in if he stays in charge.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise. Pace has held control of the Bears roster since 2015 and has just one winning season to show for it. His moves have left the organization with limited draft picks and limited spending money. Not to mention one of the oldest rosters in the NFL. He also has a reputation for undercutting his head coaches. Ask John Fox, who got blindsided by the Mitch Trubisky pick back in 2017.

If the Bears decided to keep him as GM going forward? It is a safe bet a number of top candidates that may have their eye won’t be interested in taking the job. Even with the allure of Fields. They’d prefer to have somebody they can trust running the front office. Is McCaskey willing to accept that? He isn’t sure. By most accounts, Pace is still being evaluated with six games left to play.

Chicago Bears must have a plan by the end of December

By then it should be clear where the team stands for 2021. Unless they somehow pull off a miraculous rally, they will be out of the playoff picture. At that point, it becomes about roster evaluation. How are the younger guys playing? Not just Fields but other rookies like Teven Jenkins, Larry Borom, and Khalil Herbert. If they continue taking steps forward, that might convince McCaskey to stick with Pace.

Considering Nagy and his staff is still running the offense though? That seems like a slight stretch. What with some solid defenses left on the schedule including their next two opponents, Arizona and Green Bay. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Chicago Bears reach a firmer conclusion two weeks from now. Especially if they lose in ugly fashion to the Packers again.

A team Pace has managed to beat twice since taking over.

For all the good things he has done for the franchise from modernizing their facilities to cleaning up the locker room and rebuilding the defense, his vision just hasn’t come to pass. Mostly because he failed at the two most important decisions of his career. Drafting the quarterback and hiring the head coach. While he may have gotten the former right with Fields this time, it feels too little, too late.

Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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