The Chicago Bears could be headed down a similar path.
The Chicago Bears are in a bad way at the moment, and the only thing fans have to hold onto is the hope that things will get better next season. The only way that seems possible is if there is significant, if not wholesale turnover across the organization. This would mean the firing of not only the entire coaching staff, general manager Ryan Pace, and President Ted Phillips.
However, according to some recent rumblings, Matt Nagy may not be in as much hot water with the ownership as he is with the fans.
Before we get to those rumblings, let’s quickly examine why retaining Nagy and firing everyone else would be a horrible idea. If you are looking for a more in-depth analysis, I recently wrote about this topic and highlighted why it would be so detrimental to the long-term success of the organization.
Suffice it to say that saddling a new general manager with a coach he didn’t select creates immediate conflict. Think back to when Jerry Angelo wanted to fire Dick Jauron but was forced to keep him because he made the playoffs the previous season. Angelo eventually fired Jauron and hired Lovie, but those interim seasons were wasted. A similar thing happened when Phil Emery inherited Lovie Smith and fired him following a 10-win season.
Most recently, although Pace “hired” John Fox, Fox came “highly recommended” and the implication was Pace needed to make that hire. All that did was create an environment where Pace kept his 2017 draft pick from his head coach. Had he had a good relationship with Fox, perhaps Deshaun Watson — who Fox preferred — would be suiting up for the Bears to take on the Mitchell Trubisky-led Houston Texans tomorrow.
The bottom line is taking these types of half-measures is toxic to an organization. Unfortunately, it is so consistent with the Bears pathetic history that when you see smoke, you not only think there’s a fire but fear there’s a blazing, uncontrollable, five-alarm inferno.
So when Peter King takes to the airwaves to tell Mike Florio that his preference would be to fire Pace and keep Nagy, after indicating he’d be “very surprised” if changes to the top of the organization weren’t made this offseason, you sit up and take notice.
Then, Jeremy Fowler went on ESPN and indicated that it’s “not completely over yet” for Nagy and that he has a “good relationship and a good line of communication with ownership.”
That’s now two separate national reporters who have at least tacitly suggested, that the Bears firing Nagy at the end of the season is far from a foregone conclusion.
For Bears fans clinging to nothing but hope for next year, those hopes have taken a bit of a shot this morning.