NFL coaching vacancies: Black Monday figures to be quiet for Bears
Coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace don’t seem to be in jeopardy, but the Bears might make moves on the rest of their coaching staff.
MINNEAPOLIS — Seasons such as this one usually have some fallout, but Black Monday figures to be fairly quiet for the Bears.
It is a virtual certainty that coach Matt Nagy will be back, and the team already has announced general manager Ryan Pace will hold an end-of-season news conference Tuesday.
In Pace’s five seasons, the Bears have gone 34-46, scored the fourth-fewest points in the NFL and missed on multiple high draft picks. He traded up to take quarterback Mitch Trubisky No. 2 overall in 2017, passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
With the victory Sunday against the Vikings, Nagy is 20-12 in two seasons with the Bears. While he certainly contributed to their failures this season, he bought himself credibility and time by going 12-4 and presiding over their NFC North title last season.
If there’s any shakeup, it likely will be with the Bears’ coordinators or position coaches.
No one appears to be on shakier ground than offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, who might be the fall guy for the Bears finishing among the bottom four teams in the NFL in points and yardage. Nagy hired Helfrich in 2018 after never having worked with him, and this has been his first NFL job.
Helfrich doesn’t call plays, however; Nagy does.
One caveat, though, is the Bears’ potential interest in free agent-to-be Marcus Mariota. He played quarterback for Helfrich at Oregon, which might encourage the Bears to retain him.
There also might be ripple effects from Trubisky’s debacle of a season. He regressed across the board, and Nagy might want to change up the host of coaches who work with him.
Like Helfrich, quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone has no history with Nagy other than this job. Ragone was on former coach John Fox’s staff, and Nagy kept him in large part because of his relationship with Trubisky.
There have been no complaints about new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who has maintained the standard set by Vic Fangio, but he clearly hasn’t given up on being a head coach. He coached the Colts in 2012-17 and interviewed with the Broncos last offseason. With several vacancies expected to pop up this week, it’s plausible at least one team will want to talk with him.
If not, Nagy seems more than happy to keep him.
‘‘Chuck and his staff will be doing what they need to do to figure out . . . what you do well and what you don’t do well,’’ Nagy said last week.
While the Bears didn’t match their gaudy takeaway numbers from last season, they had a Super Bowl-caliber defense. The defense finished among the top 10 in points and yards allowed, and the Bears lost games in which they held their opponents to 10, 17, 17, 21 and 22 points.