Matt Nagy stripped of play calling duties

Ryan Pace stops the insanity, Strips Matt Nagy.

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By Mike Brez November 13, 2020 1 Comment
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The definition of insanity came to an end Friday. Ahead of the Chicago Bears Monday night matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, head coach Matt Nagy was stripped of play-calling duties.

The Scapegoats of an underling ineptitude ran out after another display of offensive misery in Nashville, Sunday. Chicago’s 2020 start was very reminiscent of their 12-4, 2108 season. This quickly flashed as just a continuance of 2019. When Ryan Pace first stepped on the scene in 2015 the problems and excuses were endless. The Bears spent the last half dozen years trying to re-invent themselves as a top-flight passing team. Far away from their smash-mouth roots.  The results were a disaster. Ending Phil Emery‘s tenure, the Trestman era, and aging Bears heroes such as Tillman and Briggs. To accept the Bears job offer, Ryan Pace was pushed into a Marriage with head coach John Fox. The era of purgatory began. Pace never wanted Fox here. He wanted his own team, built in his own vision. Can’t blame him.

The new leader

The Bears new leader tried to swing for the fences and trade Cutler to Tennessee. All in an attempt to draft Marcus Mariota and have his QB. This would have been the first piece of his new Bears world. Trade rejected. Pace forged on, Trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Martellus Bennett to the Patriots, Matt Forte Walked, as well Jermon Bushrod and a cut to Matt Slauson. Pace then went to work on putting new building blocks for his defense, buying Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan. He was able to put the finishing touches on his plan after going 3-13 in 2016. He traded and secured the 2nd overall pick and selected Mitchell Trubisky. Keep in mind, he loved Marcus Mariota. Instead of stacking the team with good free agent talent, Pace saddled Fox with a handful of disaster free agent moves. The most notable of the group, was handing him, Mike Glennon, to be his starting QB. Ryan Pace then fired John Fox and was one step closer to his Bears utopia.

Enter Matt Nagy. Pace now had his Quarterback, his rebuilt defense, his Coach, and staff. Although they didn’t secure a playoff victory, 2018 was for all intents and purposes a success. Fingers were definitely being pointed going into the 2019 offseason. But, the overall consensus was Nagy and Trubisky just needed to get on the same page. 2019 was going to be epic compared to 2018. It was not. The loss of Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to Denver seemed to bring the historic defense to earth and the offense still struggled to click since Nagy’s inception.

The 2020 season

Enter 2020. Tensions were at Halas Hall and in life with Covid-19. The GM and Coach fooled everyone into believing all was well. Actions speak otherwise. Pace’s 2nd overall QB was now the focus of blame for Nagy. The ire from Pace was at his head coaches’ inability to progress the players he put on his roster. Some may think Otherwise. Once pro bowler, Cody Whitehair now looks lost, Charles Leno went from a 7th round draft pick to a top 10 pro bowl Left tackle in 2018. All while, right tackle Bobby Massie started to regress and slam dunk, draft pick, James Daniels now looked like an overdraft.

Ryan Pace assembled this Chicago Bears entire roster. A group of men, even though the John Fox era seemed to be ascending to their best abilities. On top of the homegrown ascending talent inserted into Chicago, he made big moves acquiring players like Allen Robinson and Khalil Mack. 2020 free-agent grab Robert Quinn is having his worst year in the NFL, despite playing on a stacked defensive line. Chicago had one glaring weakness in personnel going into 2020, tight end… Pace acquired undeniable talents in Jimmy Graham, along with Cole Kmet. Since then, both are rarely utilized and underperforming.

As General Manager if you witnessed everything you built, squandered on the field, I believe you have a legitimate gripe. Instead of being obstinate, the Bears boss sat down with his Head Coach and said what do you need? He answered Nagy’s demands. Trading for quarterback Nick Foles, hiring John DeFilippo, Juan Castillo, and Bill Lazor to be his offensive assistants. Ryan Pace now had built a super bowl roster, hired every single one of Nagy’s Buddies to assist him, and the results? More of the same, if not worse.

Pace was all in on Trubisky

Pace’s last grasp on the team he built was making sure Mitchell Trubisky was the 2020 starter. Nagy used the first opportunity in game 3 to pull him and insert his guy, Nick Foles. The Bears went 5-1. Every single one of those game balls deserved to be handed to the defense. Chicago now 5-4 with the worst-ranked everything offensively. Now, is Nagy too bull-headed to give up the play calling? You bet he is. After watching his team turn into ruins, the boss stepped in. You better believe Ryan Pace made the call to give Bill Lazor the play-calling duties.


It doesn’t mean the Bears will see a dramatic turn of events offensively, but you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I can tell you what it does mean, there’s hope. Players on offensive and defense just took a shot of hope, straight into the neck. Knowing something will change brings needed energy to fans, players, and within Halas Hall. Being a head coach is a hell of a stressful and demanding job, without play-calling duties. Taking that off of Matt Nagy’s plate may open him up to focus on player development. The lack of player development and the regression of players is as problematic as the play calling. Matt Nagy being stripped of the play-calling duties might just be what saves the Bears season, Pace’s utopia, Nagy’s Job, and the sanity of millions of Bears Fans.

Catch me get more in-depth on this topic and more Bears each week on my podcast and social media handles below:



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Founder of The Brawl Network, Writer, Podcast Host for The Bears Brawl, NFL Draft Analyst and Reporter



Steven Goldberg

November 15, 2020

How does a new play caller compensate for a porous offensive line that can't protect the quarterback or create holes for the run game? Can you blame Nagy for abandoning the run or calling gadget plays under these conditions? I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

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