Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy Will Not Be Fired. But Should They Be?

Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times takes a look at key questions as the Bearws enter the last 6 weeks of the season:

Under what circumstance would general manager Ryan Pace and [head coach Matt] Nagy keep their jobs in 2021?

With the relatively quick or unexpected trigger at Halas Hall in the last 10 years — the firings of Jerry Angelo, Phil Emery and Marc Trestman, in particular — change can happen with anything less than a playoff berth. There are still six games to go, but a second consecutive season of regression on offense tilts the ledger against Pace and Nagy.

This one took me by surprise a little bit. It’s one thing for fans to ask such questions at this stage. It’s another thing for a veteran Bears reporter who has been around as long as I have to do it.

Barring a total collapse, I don’t think the Bears are looking to replace Ryan Pace. I would guess that when they hired him, they knew he was going to have to grow into the job and though you’d think that he’s had enough time to do that, I think it likely that the Bears are going to try to be patient with a guy who has at least shown himself to be, unlike Emery, competent professional.

Whether Pace should remain is, of course, a different story. The decision to stick with virtually the same offensive line personnel in 2020 that performed so poorly in 2019 was strikingly similar to the one where Pace decided to stick with the same tight ends in 2019 that under-performed in 2018.

Make a mistake? It happens. Make the same mistake twice? Hmmm….

The other half of this equation is Nagy. At this point, Nagy is joined at the hip to Pace in more ways than one. Comparisons of Nagy to Trestman are as unfair was comparisons of Pace to Emery. Nagy hasn’t lost the locker room and the team continues to at least try to perform for him. It’s not a situation that requires a quick hook.

Also similar to Pace, the question of whether there should be a firing is a different story. Nagy’s obviously in over his head as he tries to get the offense to perform with all 11 men dong their jobs at the same time on the same play. Similar to what I said ages ago about John Shoop, Dick Jauron‘s offensive coordinator, the best way to describe Nagy’s offense is “uncoordinated”. That’s not good.

To top it all off, Nagy has saddled himself with some poor personnel choices like Nick Foles and some of the gadget players that he has undoubtedly had a hand in convincing Pace to go out and get.

But, having said that, if we are going to bottom line this, no. Assuming that they don’t actually lose out, right or wrong, Nagy and Pace aren’t going anywhere.

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