Am I the only guy in Chicago who missed the announcement the Bears have decided to fire Matt Nagy?
Does George McCaskey know he’s firing Nagy? Is he?
Now stop and take a breath please. This is not a defense of Nagy or even a conversation of whether or not he should be let go.
Four years is as much or more than most coaches get to succeed. It hasn’t happened so you almost have to make a change.
It’s too bad, but Nagy has to own it. I think he knows that.
Does McCaskey agree?
I suspect he does, but we’re just going to have to wait and find out.
What is annoying me no end right now is the idea that somehow the change had to come Sunday night or Monday, and the fact that it didn’t means the Bears are somehow failing again.
That is simply wrong.
Yes, the NFL made a new rule this year that allows teams that have informed their head coach he won’t be back to begin interviewing candidates from other teams during the final two weeks of the regular season.
But the change wasn’t made to benefit teams. It was made to help successful assistant coaches who are immediately preparing for the playoffs when the season ends. The more successful they are in the playoffs, the less chance they have to focus on interviewing for head jobs.
What you may not know is the interviews can still only take place after the candidate’s current team has given permission. The interviews are done virtually and they are limited to two hours.
I am confident in saying that in the history of the NFL almost no coach has either secured or eliminated himself from consideration for a head-coaching job under those circumstances.
On the flip side, is there risk in pulling the trigger on your coach too soon?
Not a ton, but it is there.
The coaching community is small and tight knit. If the Bears first choice does prove to be a highly sought after candidate with multiple options, you can bet he or his representative is going to reach out to Nagy for his thoughts about working for the team.
I’m not sure you want the guy you just threw under the bus advising the guy you want to hire.
Perhaps even more problematic, Nagy’s agent, Trace Armstrong, represents as many other top coaches as anyone in the business.
He knows coaches get hired and fired, but is embarrassing one more than necessary – to no real gain – a good idea if another of his clients is the next you want to hire?
And what does it do to the continued development of your young players?
Is changing their routine and the voices in their ears these last two weeks with no idea what they will hear and feel a good idea? Is it going to enhance their development?
If we learned anything at all Sunday it’s that these kids still respect and want to play for Nagy.
And, most importantly, have you already decided on your general manager or whomever it is that is going to hire your next coach if you make a change?
Almost all the people that want Nagy fired feel similarly about Ryan Pace. History tells us that even McCaskey and Ted Phillips don’t want themselves doing the hiring.
So just who is it you want interviewing candidates over these last two weeks?
At the end of the day there are all kinds of good reasons to make changes, but none that I can see to do it before the end of the season, when you will have the opportunity to invest the time to actually get it right.
• Hub Arkush is a Shaw Media correspondent.