Michael Lombardi is a controversial name among Chicago Bears fans. Most don’t like him for his rather bombastic takes on the team. He probably got on their bad side when he tore down Mitch Trubisky last year despite his improvement shown in 2018. Most don’t take him seriously because he was a failure as a GM. Yet the reality is he worked for successful organizations and has a wealth of experience. His latest take on the Bears’ power structure including GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy might be the most interesting.
Lombardi has heard that Pace likely isn’t going anywhere. Of course, this was before the disaster in Green Bay so it’s fair to wonder if things might’ve shifted since then. However, his assessment of Nagy came across as far less optimistic. While the recent string of losses isn’t doing the head coach any favors, that isn’t the primary reason he could be on his way out of Chicago.
It is more about how lost the offense he built looks every week.
“Can the coach solve problems? Can he solve problems? If his area of expertise is the area that it’s not getting solved, you’ve got real concerns. Because you can’t fix it if that guy’s expertise is in that area and he can’t fix it, that tells you maybe you have the wrong guy.”
This is the crux of the issue. Nagy still boasts a winning record as a head coach. Yet it’s hard not to ask the question. How much of that did he really have to do with? He has benefitted from the presence of a top 10 defense during his entire run in Chicago. They’ve made life so much easier on him. Yet he’s now 13-14 in the past two years. All because his offense ranked 29th in 2019 and is 31st this year.
People can harp on the quarterback issue all they want. The reality is his excuses should fall on deaf ears. Kyle Shanahan has had Jimmy Garopolo for just six games this season and he wasn’t healthy playing in half of them. Yet that hasn’t stopped the San Francisco 49ers from still ranking 20th in points scored. Why? Shanahan understands how to work with what he has and make the best of it. He provides solutions. Nagy doesn’t.
Matt Nagy is a good guy but is lacking in ideas
Looking back it’s fair to wonder if the Bears simply got Nagy too early. He was only an offensive coordinator for two years in Kansas City. He’d called plays for half a season. Nobody was denying his ability to motivate. It’s just that maybe he hadn’t yet learned all the lessons necessary in becoming a good head coach. He has tried to model himself so much after Andy Reid that he failed to find his own identity.
That is why this team has lacked any sense of who they really are for three years. Matt Nagy is so committed to his system that he can’t understand the personnel available make that almost impossible. He doesn’t have the quarterback and he doesn’t have the offensive line to execute such a scheme. Yet every week they continue to throw the football far more than run it. No significant adjustments. Just the coach telling the players they need to be better.
It’s little wonder that the message is starting to wear thin.
Bears receivers are already hinting at a desire to play elsewhere. The defense broke down in Green Bay completely with 34 points allowed. They often looked disinterested towards the end of it. Offensively they managed 10 points in the first three quarters. A trend that has held pretty steady all year. Nothing has changed. This is why Nagy has to go. If he can do what is necessary to make this team play better, then somebody else will.