The Bears’ past week has been …
Way too familiar. The chaotic episode exposed Halas Hall for all its dysfunction, but it would barely make the top five of Bears weeks/moments of ignominy. The Bears are so bad at this, they don’t even know how to play the victim, mishandling an erroneous report of Nagy’s firing so poorly that they created a firestorm, then congratulated themselves for overcoming a distraction they themselves fueled — so typical. And in the aftermath, the same question hovered over a franchise that continually tortures itself in any matter that involves public relations: Do they have any idea how bad they looked?
Who, or what, is to blame for the Bears’ week?
Team chairman George McCaskey, for not having anyone with any expertise in football or management as an ultimate authority at Halas Hall. This is why the Bears need a president of football operations — someone who not only understands football, but is expert at management and public relations. General manager Ryan Pace didn’t step in, presumably because he’s not the ultimate authority. Like so many issues at Halas Hall, it starts at the top. The very top.
Did Matt Nagy handle it well?
Nagy’s demeanor throughout the episode was exemplary. He never bristled at the barrage of pointed questions and answered each one as best he could. But that’s consistent with his approach throughout his tenure, including the awkward quarterback scenario this season.
Who is most responsible for the Bears’ exasperating season?
Matt Nagy. As admirable has he’s been as a CEO who engenders respect from his players in good times and bad, Bears fans would gladly trade him for a grumpy, argumentative, antagonistic SOB whose offense scores a ton of points. Nagy’s struggling offense makes him most culpable for another disappointing season.
Will Nagy last the rest of the season? Why or why not?
That depends. If that’s Ryan Pace’s call, it’s likely he makes the change before Week 17, when he can get near the front of the line for available assistants on other teams. If George McCaskey and team president Ted Phillips clean house — or at least the floors below them — it would not be a surprise if they waited until the end of the season.
What will the Bears’ final record be?
6-11. The Bears are missing several key players and needed a last-second field goal to beat the winless Lions. The might catch a contender at the right time and pull off an upset, but unlikely four or five of them.
If I owned the Bears over the next six weeks, my master plan would be…
To get out of the way completely and put minority owner Pat Ryan in charge of hiring a president of football operations who would have authority over every facet of the franchise. I would let Phillips handle new-stadium matters, but would insist that any and all football decisions would be made only by football people.