Everyone is tired of waiting around for coach Matt Nagy to pick a quarterback.
That includes Nagy.
A few days after floating the idea of keeping his decision a secret as a form of “gamesmanship” against the Lions, he admitted the longer this drags out between Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky, the more it works against the Bears.
“The longer that things string out, the harder it is for these quarterbacks, the harder it is for our team, and I think that has to carry some heavy weight, as well,” Nagy said Thursday.
‘‘It’s hurting yourself if you do that, and you need to be able to make a decision to help both of these quarterbacks. And not to mention help our staff, as well. So we are taking all of that into consideration. We want to do it the right way.”
Ideally, the right way would’ve been for Foles or Trubisky to prove himself decisively better in the first week or so of practice so the Bears could move on, but that didn’t happen. They mostly went back and forth, with Foles outplaying Trubisky shortly before Nagy closed practices to the media.
So the Bears have been weighing this decision for more than five months since trading a fourth-round pick for Foles with the belief that he’d be a clear upgrade over Trubisky, but Nagy still sounds torn.
“Both of these quarterbacks have done a good job at making it difficult,” he said.
Hopefully he’s not still saying that at the end of the season.
For now, he and his staff — mainly offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and pass-game coordinator Dave Ragone — will lock themselves inside Halas Hall and reanalyze every aspect of the competition.
It’ll be more advanced than scratching out a pros-and-cons list on a legal pad. Nagy said his criteria center on decision-making, throwing accuracy and “situational football,” such as how they performed in third-down, red-zone and other scenarios in practice. He also said recently he’ll consider each quarterback’s playing history, which is a mixed bag for both.
“Both of them, we thought, did well,” he said of the last three weeks of practice. “I know it probably is frustrating in hearing things sound somewhat gray. I completely understand that. But, for us, it’s not easy.”
Bears players, who have artfully dodged questions about the quarterback battle, were dismissed Thursday and are expected back Sunday morning to begin preparing for the opener. Nagy indicated he plans to choose his guy by then and inform the team.
He’s not expecting unanimous agreement in the locker room and noted that “we all have our own opinions” and there’s no chance he’ll be able to “100% satisfy everybody.”
But he hopes the decision will be well-received regardless because he believes his players trust him and have seen enough from both quarterbacks to support either of them being the starter.
“Whoever it is, I’m not concerned at all about that from the team aspect,” he said.
It helps that Foles and Trubisky are likable. For all his shortcomings, Trubisky always has been a worker and never a problematic personality. Foles has a similar reputation, plus the cachet of winning Super Bowl MVP.
As far as choosing between the two, though, Nagy might have to get used to that because it’s possible he’ll have to do it again — frequently, perhaps. He said the competition will continue into the season based on how the starter is doing and how the backup performs in practice. It’ll be much different than last season, when he was adamantly against benching Trubisky for Chase Daniel.
Ultimately, it won’t matter how long Nagy wavers as long as he makes the correct call, now and during the season. It’s fine for him to take as much time as he needs — if he gets it right.