NFL Just Gave The Bears Actual Incentive To Fire Matt Nagy Early

matt nagy
Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy talks with an official during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people want Matt Nagy gone as Chicago Bears head coach right now. They’re tired of seeing him mismanage the offense and constantly look ill-equipped against better-coached teams. Considering his expertise was supposed to be on that side of the ball, it’s difficult to figure out what purpose he serves on this team. Each week it becomes more obvious he isn’t capable of developing Justin Fields. So why doesn’t team chairman George McCaskey pull the plug?

Well for one, he actually likes and respects Nagy as a person. That was a big reason the man was kept in the first place. For another, the Bears organization has never fired a coach during a season in history. Not just because it has never been their way but also there wasn’t any real point in doing so. Even if he was sent packing, the Bears wouldn’t be able to do anything about the job until the regular season ended.

That has now changed.

Amidst the annual NFL owners meetings, it appears some rule changes to the coach hiring cycle are being implemented. By far the biggest one involves a significant shift in the timing of when teams can begin interviewing candidates. For the longest time, teams weren’t allowed to start until the beginning of the playoffs. That has now shifted to the final two weeks of the regular season. The key stipulation is that the candidate’s team must give consent and the interviewing team must have their head coaching job vacant.

So if McCaskey lacked any good reasons to fire Nagy sooner than later, he has one now. By dismissing the head coach, he would open the Bears up to a huge opportunity to interview top candidates two weeks ahead of other teams that may end up firing their own coaches after the end of the regular season.

Extra time to explore could help avoid a Matt Nagy repeat

One of the issues the Bears ran into back in 2018 was how fast the hiring cycle moved for them. They fired John Fox on January 1st. Six days later they met with Nagy for his interview. A day later on January 8th, he was named head coach. One week was all the time GM Ryan Pace, team president Ted Phillips, and McCaskey took to make their decision. By contrast? Dick Jauron was fired on December 29th of 2003. Lovie Smith wasn’t hired as a replacement until January 14th.

It’s fair to wonder if that extra week played a big part in helping the Bears make the right decision. It almost worked a second time in 2013 after Smith was fired. Unfortunately, Phil Emery went with Marc Trestman over Bruce Arians. Knowing how limited McCaskey and Phillips are in terms of their football acumen, it makes plenty of sense to take advantage of this rule change, even if it means kicking Matt Nagy to the curb sooner.

This has to be about what is best for the Bears.

The organization has had one winning season in almost a decade now. That is something that can’t be acceptable. They may finally have the talent necessary to compete at quarterback in Fields. He can’t do that without a capable head coach to guide him though. Nagy is not that man.

SOURCEDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.