Hub Arkush: Who is Matt Nagy really? And how much of this season’s failure does he really own?

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy looks on from the sidelines during the first half the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 5, 2021, in Chicago.

I’m not sure if anyone in Chicago really knows Matt Nagy.

It’s been almost four years now and he’s carried himself with dignity and has acted with total class from the moment he got here, including right through Wednesday, as the walls appear to be closing in around him.

Unlike most coaches, who aren’t all that interested in the media’s thoughts or anything but indignant when we think they should explain theirs, he’s always made me feel like he cares.

But all of that has gone out the window when it’s comes to answering questions about personnel decisions, starting lineup calls and player development.

We were told following the team’s January loss to the Saints in the playoffs by George McCaskey and Ted Phillips that progress was the only measuring stick that would be used to dictate his future. Nagy has continually alluded to a plan to show progress, but never clearly articulated what it was.

Perhaps worse, the plan appeared to wobble depending on what the subject was, and it wobbled the most the more significant the questions became.

And it continues to puzzle me how much of it will actually have been his own doing and how much of this hand was he dealt by a dysfunctional organization.

Because if it is the latter it will be hard to expect the next effort will be any better no matter who gets to lead it.

A shining example of my concern popped up again in Nagy’s Wednesday press conference.

The question as to why he started Germain Ifedi over Larry Borom at right tackle last Sunday in Seattle – a move that has generated far more concern than I felt was warranted – so I asked him for his explanation Wednesday.

His answer really concerned me.

“Yeah, no, I understand the question and I know it’s, you get to these points right now in the season, and especially when we’re not able to make the playoffs,” Nagy said, “and I understand that everybody’s going to have their own opinion and there’s a dynamic to who each player is and the roles that they’ve come into.

“And then coming into this year we have two young draft picks that we got for the future and, but Ifedi’s still the starter. And he came in and I thought that he was playing well. Then he got hurt.

“You know, on a much shorter time frame it happened to Andy (Dalton), too, with Andy and Justin (Fields) earlier in the season..

“So looking back to last week, we had the ability with having Ifedi up and ready, what a great opportunity for him to come back in and show what he can do.”

I would hope the problem with that answer is obvious.

I never asked him about Dalton. Nagy just brought him up.

Dalton never got his job back, and when he got hurt he was executing at a very high level vs. the Bengals. Nagy meanwhile told us Justin Fields had earned the starting job, which he clearly didn’t with a historically poor performance in Cleveland and marginally acceptable one against Detroit.

At the same time, Ifedi did nothing special prior to going down, and Borom stepped in and surprised with how well he played. Borom pretty clearly deserved to keep the job after getting off the COVID-19 list Sunday but didn’t.

Most puzzling at least to me is relative to the Ifedi-Borom issue the horse is well out of the barn, but the Dalton-Fields decision clearly changed the arc of this season and may turn out to have been the biggest singe factor in costing him his job if indeed it proves to be lost.

It made no sense when it happened, it was counter to everything Nagy had told us about his “QB Plan” and yet even now he still acts like it didn’t happen and can’t or won’t explain it.

Some day I’d love to know what really happened and what Nagy was really thinking. Even now is he protecting others in the organization? If so, why?

Or was it all him and was he really just going from week to week with the plan changing due to the mood of the crowd?

Other than he is a good guy, we really just don’t know.

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush is a Bears/NFL Insider for Shaw Media