After two years, it was clear something wasn’t clicking for the Chicago Bears on offense. Most of the fingers pointed at Mitch Trubisky. That wasn’t a shock. He’s the quarterback and quarterbacks drive the NFL these days. There was plenty of visual evidence to back up his struggles. Eventually, it got to a point where head coach Matt Nagy had seen enough.
In the 3rd quarter against Atlanta during Week 3, the big decision was made. Trubisky was benched in favor of veteran Nick Foles. The former Super Bowl MVP was acquired for this exact possibility. He knew the type of offense Nagy wants to run. Things were certain to be better with him under center.
Except it hasn’t happened.
The Bears still rank 29th in the NFL in total offense. They lead the league in penalties. Foles has seven interceptions. Everything that was wrong with this unit didn’t magically disappear. Well since a change at quarterback didn’t work, that led fans to only one logical conclusion. It must have something to do with the man running it.
Nagy has indeed come under fire in recent weeks. It’s becoming troublesome to watch how unprepared, unfocused, and undisciplined his offense looks each week. To say nothing of his odd usage of personnel and constant communication issues. Adam Jahns of The Athletic spoke to an NFL executive about why things never clicked for Trubisky in Chicago.
The man seemed to point the finger directly at the head coach.
“Sometimes you get in a situation where they have success early and it’s about them, instead of making it about the player,” the executive said. “And most offensive guys think that way around the league. … Some of these guys try to overcomplicate things.”
Matt Nagy fits that criticism perfectly
That is a critique of Nagy that was raised as far back as last year. It seemed like the coach was so focused on making the system work that he failed to realize he might not have the personnel needed to execute it. Especially at quarterback. Instead of being practical and reforming the scheme around what he had, he continued to try ramming a square peg into a round hole. A problem that continues to manifest even now.
Where it gets even more interesting? ESPN analyst and former player Matt Bowen actually pointed the finger higher. Right at GM Ryan Pace. The man who brought those two together in the first place.
“There is a lot of reasons why it didn’t work for Mitch in Chicago,” Bowen said. “But look at the two offenses he played, Matt Nagy’s offense and then the offense under John Fox. I thought the offense under John Fox was a better fit for him. I really believe that.”
So it’s basically an organizational failure.
Pace hired the wrong offensive guru for the young quarterback he drafted. That offensive guru then proved to be so stubborn with his offense that he couldn’t do enough to make the best of the players he has. This is just further validation of how incompetent the Bears continue to be in regards to constructing a modern NFL offense.
Trubisky will be gone in 2021. Depending on how this season finishes, the fate of Matt Nagy is unclear. If he does return, the Bears need to do a lot of soulsearching on how they want to move forward. He’s had three seasons at the helm and his offense has basically been a joke for most of that time. Can he change or is he just too set in his ways?
One thing is for sure. He doesn’t have a lot of believers left outside Halas Hall.