Matt Nagy And Ryan Pace May Not Be A “Package Deal” Anymore

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The Chicago Bears ownership had a choice to make this offseason. What do they do with their power structure? Do they keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, do they fire them both, or do they dismiss one and keep the other? Based on what George McCaskey said during his press conference back in January, it felt like the two men were being treated as a package deal. They were either going to sink or swim together in 2021.



It might be possible that opinions have changed since then. Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog has showcased strong connections inside Halas Hall. He delivered an interesting update on what is happening in Lake Forest. Are Nagy and Pace still joined at the hip? Not necessarily. It seems that while Pace isn’t exactly “safe” at this point, Nagy is the one who is feeling the heat a lot more lately.

This feeling is reflected among Bears fans too.

While there seems to be division on Pace and his status with the team, virtually everybody is united in their anger at Nagy. While the GM hasn’t been totally on point with some of his decisions the past few years, he’s done a favorable job putting a competitive roster together. Nagy meanwhile hasn’t lived up to his supposed expertise. His offense has struggled for over three years now and remains one of the worst in the NFL this season.

Even so, there are definite flashes that the Bears have some talent. Darnell Mooney is coming along well. Cole Kmet might be improving. Allen Robinson is still good. They have a deep group of running backs led by David Montgomery. Sure they have a rookie QB in Justin Fields, but it still feels like this team should be scoring more points. For this team to continually look ineffective but not overpowered against the better opponents in the league? That speaks to coaching.

Would Ryan Pace actually get a third swing?

People should understand that there is almost no precedence for something like that. A GM rarely gets a chance to hire a second head coach. Let alone a third. Especially considering that GM has one winning season during his entire tenure. This speaks to how much the McCaskey family likes Pace. They feel he is the sort of leader this organization needs. Somebody who has the right vision for what this franchise needs to be.

Is he worthy of such loyalty? That depends on who you ask. When looking at his entire body of work, there are a lot of high-profile whiffs. Kevin White, Leonard Floyd, Mitch Trubisky, Adam Shaheen, and Anthony Miller make up the highlights. However, there are some arguments in his favor too. Ryan Pace has been consistently good at finding talent in the later rounds of the draft and has also improved his hit rate in the early rounds. Since 2018, he’s landed Roquan Smith, James Daniels, David Montgomery, and Jaylon Johnson in the first three rounds.

What does Nagy have to hang his hat on?

His offense is terrible. He’s narrowly avoided a losing record each of the past two years thanks to favorable bounces in the schedule. He’s now 1-6 against the Green Bay Packers. Yeah, the defense is playing well but he has almost no control over that side of the ball. The truth is it’s becoming difficult to figure out what purpose he serves for this team. Nagy is a good motivator, but it takes more than that to succeed at a high level in the NFL.

Both men have 11 games left to plead their cases.



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