Details on the Firings of Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy

| January 10th, 2022

I have been pretty locked in on the thinking of Bears ownership over the last few months, actually working a few friends harder than I normally would for information. Here’s the fruits of those efforts.

  • Matt Nagy began to fall out of favor with ownership this summer. George McCaskey, and Ted Phillips, shared my outrage with how the quarterback position was being handled. George was physically moved to see Justin Fields receive a standing ovation at a preseason game and could not understand why Nagy, and to a lesser degree Pace, were eschewing that enthusiasm to play a journeyman quarterback.
  • Despite what has been reported, George never instructed Nagy to play Fields. But he did, almost weekly, ask WHY Fields wasn’t playing. The problem? Nagy’s answers never held water. When the coach would resort to tired phrases about the kid not being “ready”, the owner wanted to know what that actually meant. Nagy could never communicate that effectively.
  • The Bears decided to fire Nagy before Thanksgiving, but never entertained the idea of firing him in-season. Nagy never lost the locker room; the team constantly played with effort. The Bears are comfortable waiting until the season is over. Nagy was NOT told that week.
    • On the Patch report, the same source tried to leak that story to many journalists and non-journalists like me. We vetted it. It had no merit.
    • The Bears were furious about the story getting traction. And they still can’t believe they faced criticism for a bullshit story.
  • The decision to fire Ryan Pace was far more complicated and took FAR longer. Some highlights:
    • The Bears, through back channels, used a series of consultants to evaluate the whole of their football operation. Bill Polian was involved. Tony Dungy was involved. In the early stages of that process, the recommendation was veering towards only replacing Pace if they could land an
    • established GM. But at the conclusion of the process, the formal recommendation was for the Bears to move on.
    • Ozzie Newsome was approached about a formal role in the organization. He chose to remain retired.
    • The Bears put out feelers to both Kevin Colbert and John Schneider, gauging potential availability and interest. (I honestly don’t know the outcomes of those feelers, but Colbert is retiring from the Steelers after this coming draft.)
    • The Bears have been pretty definitively firing Pace for a few weeks. But it became “official” last Wednesday.
    • Polian helped compile a list of a dozen GM candidates and those meetings will begin immediately. I do not know what his involvement will be in the coming weeks.

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