Nagy and Pace. Those two names are the central focus of several Chicago Bears fans right now. Mostly because of their job security. Matt Nagy as head coach and Ryan Pace as GM. Together they got off to such a good start in 2018, winning the division. Since then? They’re 13-13 and in the midst of a four-game skid that doesn’t appear possible to pull out of. Not with one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
Thus the discussions have started. If this freefall doesn’t stop and they finish say 8-8 or worse? This after starting 5-1. Does George McCaskey pull the plug and fire both of them? Nobody would be overly shocked. That sort of collapse is hard to defend. To say nothing of the mistakes the two have made in wasting yet another great defense. Yet the question must still be asked.
What happens if they survive?
While George McCaskey is furious with how the team has played lately, he’s also made it clear he is a big supporter of Nagy and Pace in the past. He likes the vision they have for the team and believes in what they’re trying to build. Does he give them one more chance? It would generate a ton of criticism if he does. Especially since the expectation is they would immediately target a new quarterback.
A decision that could have massive repercussions for the next few years at least. Who would even be their primary target? Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic asked draft expert Dane Brugler this question. His answer probably isn’t one people want to hear.
“(Zach) Wilson is a tad more realistic, but unlikely, while (Trey) Lance is the quarterback expected to be within striking distance.
Lance is an unprecedented evaluation, which doesn’t mean you don’t draft him. It just means there are more challenges involved in figuring him out. He has only 17 starts on his resume with all 17 coming vs. FCS-level competition. He has a live arm with the size and athleticism to be creative with the ball in his hands.
His coaches and teammates say he was the hardest worker on the team and the intangibles aren’t a question mark. And as a Minnesota native, he is familiar with playing in the elements. But after Trubisky, I don’t blame Bears fans who will be concerned by Lance’s limited resume. He needs improved consistency with his reads and accuracy, but all the tools are there for him to be a productive pro.”
Nagy and Pace would not have many supporters with Trey Lance
That is not to say the young man is a bad quarterback. It’s more what he would represent. Bears fans just went through the Trubisky experience. A gifted athlete with a strong arm who only started 13 games in college. Just imagine Pace drafting another 1st round QB in Lance who has just 17 starts in his career, even fewer passes (318), and played inferior competition at the FCS level.
Chicago might literally burn down. If Nagy couldn’t develop Trubisky into what he wanted, why should anybody believe he’d be able to do the same for Lance? Now let this be made clear. The two quarterbacks are not the same. Lance could easily turn out to be a quick study and elevate his game to the next level. Yet history shows players like him are exceedingly dangerous gambles.
He’d need a specific type of offense to accentuate what he does best.
The Bears do not have that offense. Now him being a running quarterback might not be a bad thing what with this bad offensive line. Still, it just feels like Lance would be a reach. One Nagy and Pace can absolutely not afford to make. They will be walking a razor-thin line in 2021. If they don’t get immediate results from the quarterback position, their final chance will have been wasted.
If they go with somebody like Lance, it feels almost inevitably doomed to fail.