George McCaskey seemed resolute in his decision. He’d spent 48 hours following the end of the Chicago Bears season thinking it over. He contacted other owners. After serious deliberation, the team chairman made up his mind. Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace would remain as head coach and GM of the organization. While the end results thus far hadn’t been what many hoped, it was felt the two had shown tremendous leadership and character in keeping the Bears competitive despite numerous setbacks.
Now people can debate all day on whether this is the right decision. Pace has produced one winning season in six years as GM. Nagy had a great first year and two very average ones after that. Not to mention his vaunted offense never finishing higher than 21st in the NFL. There is plenty of evidence to suggest the two don’t deserve another opportunity.
McCaskey feels different. That is fine. It’s his team.
There is one flaw in his plan though. Something not enough people have grasped. Even as ownership claims to throw their weight behind the two men, they’ve also completely handicapped their ability to make meaningful changes at the same time. It’s already happening. Four assistant coaches have departed the staff in the past two weeks including defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.
None of those positions have been filled. In fact, word persists that several possible candidates have declined the Bears job. Why would this be? The answer is simple. With Nagy’s future beyond 2021 being in question, it makes little sense for any reputable coaches to come to Chicago. Why do that when they can be out on the street after just one season?
This is where McCaskey miscalculated on Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace
If he was truly behind the two men as he claims to be, the smart thing he would’ve done is give them contract extensions. Send a message to the wider NFL that these are his guys. This would ease concerns about their job security and help them to make stronger pitches to coaches and also free agents that coming to Chicago would be a smart thing for their careers.
Instead, McCaskey kept them on their current deals with zero long-term security, limited spending money, and no top 10 draft pick. All of this with a glaring hole at quarterback. Then he basically told them to fix it. This isn’t what smart owners do. They don’t set their employees up to fail. McCaskey settled for a half measure. He wanted to keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace but also didn’t want to infuriate the fans too much.
As a result, he didn’t accomplish anything.
The fans are still irate with him and he also sabotaged his guys at the same time. This is why it’s likely the Bears will be right back here again next offseason. McCaskey no doubt wondering why his decision went wrong. It’s because he doesn’t grasp the business of football. A cold reality that continues to hold this organization back. Fans best pray for a miracle this offseason.