Videos by OutKick
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy had an avert-your-eyes afternoon on Sunday because watching his offense — and yes, it’s his offense. He is the designer and play-caller — was like staring at a Volkswagen Beetle stall on railroad tracks and train horns are blaring because that speeding locomotive is definitely not stopping.
Nagy’s offense was the Beetle.
And the Bears put on a train wreck of a performance against the Cleveland Browns, passing the football for one net yard, getting promising rookie quarterback Justin Fields sacked nine times, and averaging all of 1.1 yards per offensive play.
It was pitiful and hard to watch.
And it really reflects more on Nagy, who’s in his fourth year with the Bears, than Fields, who’s in his fifth month in the NFL.
Because the game plan was, well, there seemed to be no game plan.
And the adjustments were, well, there seemed to be no adjustments.
And Nagy’s use of his quarterback’s gifts, well, the coach didn’t use those. Fields, a mobile, dynamic scrambler, was confined to the pocket most of the game. The Bears had one roll out action play all day.
Nagy could not explain why it all happened after the 26-6 loss. He said he had to watch the tape to find the “whys.”
On Monday, the coach came back and announced he understood what had happened and that his staff, after long discussions, were in their offices figuring out how to keep the disaster from having a sequel.
But Nagy then raised more questions than he provided answers because he announced that for Chicago’s next game against the winless Detroit Lions, “all options” are on the table, including changing the lineup and the play-caller (himself).
“We’re looking at everything, and I think that’s being completely honest with you and real,” Nagy said. “I care about this situation immensely. Our players care, our coaches care. So we got to figure it out and we got to figure it out fast.”
That’s not all. The coach also said he didn’t know who would start at quarterback.
“I can’t definitively say who the starter is, yes.” Nagy admitted.
“Everything’s on the table and I think that’s probably the easiest way to put it.”
This is not the picture of leadership. None of this suggests that a quick and efficient course correction is on the way.
Right now, the Bears are 1-2 and in last place in total offense, next-to-last in scoring offense, boast a turnstile offensive line, suffer an uncertain quarterback situation, and the coach is searching for answers like Ponce De Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth.
So there isn’t a high probability this is going to be solved. There is, however, a pretty good chance Nagy will be fired after the season.
But, that’s not good enough for some folks. They wanted him gone Monday.
And they went to some extreme lengths to make their point.
Take ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, a former NFL quarterback and now one of the network’s most visible NFL analysts. This is what he said Monday:
“The Chicago Bears should fire Matt Nagy today,” Nagy said. “Because yesterday’s game plan, which was the worst one I’ve ever seen in my life, was either negligence or intentional.
“Yesterday you showed us you are either incapable of designing a proper game plan around a dynamic quarterback or you showed us that it was intentional — that you wanted him to fail and you set him up to be a disaster.”
Orlovsky went through the so-called ESPN car wash on Monday, meaning he was on multiple different shows in the early morning, mid-afternoon, and late afternoon. And on each show he repeated his “intentional” narrative.
Orlovsky raised the idea Nagy sabotaged the team’s first-round pick on purpose.
But no one asked him for proof that might be true. No one between shows asked him to pull back on the unfounded accusation.
Orlovsky was on an island with the sabotage theory, but he had company calling for Nagy’s job.
“I’m done with Matt Nagy. It’s over,” NFL Network analyst David Carr said on air. “I’ve seen my last offensive series of watching his clips of not getting guys open, not creating offense for his quarterback, not protecting his quarterback, putting his young quarterback in a situation that he cannot succeed in.
“And that’s your fault because it’s you that has to keep the defense off your quarterback. You have to push them back by the way that you call plays, by the way you line guys up, the way you shift, motion and move people. And you have to create offense for your quarterback and not be the reason he’s getting his head knocked off.
“I’m done with Matt Nagy. I don’t want to see it anymore. I’d rather Bill Lazor be the coach of this team …”
Yes, these guys are really, really, really angry Nagy is employed. And I get it, the coach was terrible Sunday and failed to develop Mitch Trubisky before Fields ever came into the picture.
But the Bears have whispered no suggestions Nagy is about to be canned — at least not after three games.
“What we’ll do is we will make sure that we evaluate all of us and understand we have a big division game against Detroit this week for the fourth week and we got to focus on that,” Nagy said.
“We’re all frustrated and angry but it’s got to be about solutions now. That’s going to be my job as the head coach. I need to do that and it starts with me.”