Nagy is 31-27 in four seasons as Bears head coach. | AP Photos
Regardless of whether Nagy or Patch.com has more credibility in this standoff, speculation about his job will continue the rest of the season. And Nagy doesn’t seem to have any guarantee that he’ll get to finish it.
Knowing full well that a report about his imminent firing had spun the Chicago area into a frenzy Tuesday morning, Bears coach Matt Nagy walked into the media room at Halas Hall like it was any other day.
He arrived late, allowing the story to rage unfettered for an extra 16 minutes, then unfolded a piece of paper as he sat at the microphone.
A prepared statement about his exit?
Nope. Just the injury report and the day’s practice schedule.
“And now we’ve just gotta get ready here for this game, get ready to rock n’ roll,” he concluded. “So with that I’ll go ahead and open it up to any questions.”
There was a mountain of them.
And none of Nagy’s responses did anything to quell the storm swirling around him and the Bears as they prepare to visit the Lions on Thursday.
The organization at large also did nothing, opting against putting out a definitive statement or even leaking a rebuttal to a recognizable media outlet. The Bears were content, instead, to have Nagy swerve awkwardly through his press conference.
The spark was a report from Patch.com, a suburban news website citing “a top source,” that said Nagy was informed Monday that the team would fire him after the game Thursday.
“That is not accurate,” Nagy said, adding that he hadn’t had any discussions on that subject with chairman George McCaskey, president Ted Phillips or general manager Ryan Pace.
Given Nagy’s history of dodgy answers, him denying a story isn’t enough to squash it.
And given how dysfunctional and odd the Bears are, that scenario is just goofy enough to be believable: The team breaks from its 101-year tradition of letting a head coach finish a season by pre-firing him four days in advance and can’t even keep it a secret for the first 24 hours.
Regardless of whether Nagy or Patch.com has more credibility in this standoff, speculation about his job will almost certainly continue for the rest of the season–especially with the NFL’s new rule allowing teams to begin interviews in Week 17.
And Nagy doesn’t seem to have gotten any guarantee that he’ll get to finish the season. When asked that directly, he tried to redirect the conversation.
“My focus right now is on these players and on Detroit,” he said. “That’s it. My job as a head coach and a leader is to do that.
“You have this quick turnaround after a tough loss and now here we go. The only thing that we can do is focus on the now and try to do everything we can. Thursday is going to be here quickly, and we have one objective and that’s to win the game.”
It was a yes-or-no question.
“Again, it’s not something I’m focused at,” he said. “I respect the question, but my focus is not on that, you know.”
Beyond Halas Hall, though, everyone else is preoccupied by it. In fact, they’re more ravenous for change than ever after Nagy dragged the Bears through a 16-13 loss to Baltimore on Sunday.