Hub Arkush: Is there any chance Matt Nagy makes it past this season in Chicago?

Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy and tight end Cole Kmet share a laugh late in the game against the New York Giants Sunday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Watching Matt Nagy these past few weeks as he’s been forced to endure a “dead coach walking” routine has been uncomfortable and painful at times, and the class, patience and dignity he’s handled it with has been beyond impressive.

On Monday at Halas Hall he left me wondering if he believes that he’s got one solid Hail Mary play left in his book that still could save his job.

This is not a conversation about whether Nagy should keep his job.

It’s just a question, could he be back? And, if so, under what circumstances?

While most believe Sunday in Minnesota will be his last as the Bears head coach, it really is based strictly on the foul mood of his customer base since the only guy with a vote, Bears chairman George McCaskey, hasn’t uttered a peep.

Is it possible there still are evaluations to come and McCaskey has not yet made up his mind about anything?

If so, does Nagy still have a story to tell?

Remember, the last we heard from the chairman he said all decisions would be based on progress.

The list of NFL head coaches that have been fired after four years with a winning record, only one losing season, two playoff trips and a Coach of the Year Award is awfully short.

Could finishing a season loaded with unique challenges with a three-game win streak and a big finale from the franchise’s future be interpreted as progress?

Here’s what Nagy said Monday about the importance of Justin Fields facing the Vikings if he’s completely healthy:

“He’s put a lot of time and effort into this year, into developing and becoming better as a quarterback,” Nagy said. “What this will enable him to do is finish on a high note and do everything he can to have a great week of practice mentally, physically, be there for his teammates, which I think says a lot for these guys.”

Could it speak loudly for the head coach too?

Here are three other Nagy comments from Monday that struck me.

On why the offense continues to struggle after four years: “There’s a lot of different things you can look at – coaching, players, scheme – so that’s something that at the end of the season I’ll be able to look at and see. I think every year’s just a little bit different.”

On Fields playing as much as he did: “I believe that we went into it with a plan of Andy [Dalton] being the starter for the entire season and it didn’t go that route. We had to make sure that if Andy was going to get injured ,which he did, was Justin prepared enough to be the starter and did he grow? And he’s done that so I think you’ve got to give Justin a lot of credit.”

Finally, does Nagy believe Fields is better off for having been thrown to the wolves?

“Again, we will see,” Nagy said. “I think everybody can have their own opinion on what they think for Justin. Justin can have his own opinion.”

As often as we’ve heard Nagy talk about the plan for his quarterbacks, it’s the first time I’ve heard him add it was for the “entire season.”

Who changed the plan?

As for needing to be sure Fields was ready to start if Dalton got hurt, in reality they didn’t have to at all.

Why was Nick Foles here?

If the organization believed in Nagy’s plan, why didn’t Foles fit it as well as Dalton?

Nagy’s third answer speaks for itself. If it was his decision to force Fields into the lineup before he was ready, why isn’t Nagy defending it now?

I suspect the Vikings game will be Nagy’s last as the Bears head coach and whether or not he got a fair shake will take some time to unravel, if we ever know for sure.

Perhaps the QB conundrum was all Nagy’s doing and will be a main reason he’s let go.

But if he was directed to handle Fields in ways that collided with his better judgment, in spite of a number of other areas he has struggled in, will the boss reward him for taking the bullet for the team?

Like I said, it feels like a Hail Mary. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush is a Bears/NFL Insider for Shaw Media