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What don’t I want in Matt Nagy’s successor? Let me count the nays

The Bears fired their head coach, who stumbled often in four seasons.

The Bears have moved on from coach Matt Nagy after four seasons and no playoff victories.
The Bears have moved on from coach Matt Nagy after four seasons and no playoff victories.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Due to a massive amount of scar tissue, I’m mentally incapable of telling you what I want in the Bears’ next head coach. However, I can tell you what I don’t want in Matt Nagy’s successor. This is based on four years of him, too many years of Bears ridiculousness, the cumulative effects of listening to that excruciating air-raid siren at Soldier Field and one afternoon of fourth-down lunacy.

  1. I don’t want anyone who is nice. Nagy has been described as nice more often than Tom Hanks has. FOX announcers did it again Sunday in what was Nagy’s last game as Bears coach, a 31-17 loss in Minnesota. I don’t want Tom Hanks as the next coach. But if the Bears do hire him — and I’m not ruling out that possibility, given the organization’s football acumen — I want Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, Matt LaFleur as his offensive coordinator and Bill Belichick as his defensive coordinator.
  2. I don’t want anyone who would think of calling a pass play on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with so-so Andy Dalton at quarterback and powerful David Montgomery at running back. That’s what Nagy did in the third quarter Sunday with his team leading 14-10. Dalton was sacked for a 15-yard loss. The failure went well with the two other times the Vikings sacked Dalton on fourth down. It also paired nicely with the pick-six Dalton threw on a fourth-and-one. Here was the story of a head-scratching head-coaching career.
  3. I don’t want anyone who mentions the importance of team “culture.’’ In fact, I’ll pay the next coach good money to declare in his introductory press conference that culture is a business-school buzzword uttered by dimwitted, cookie-cutter executives without an original thought in their heads. The Bears’ “culture’’ finished 6-11 this season.
  4. I don’t want anyone who acts as if a plague of pre-snap penalties are a couple of overdue library books.
  5. I don’t want anyone who thinks a teeny visor and a shaved head are a good idea.
  6. I don’t want anyone whose previous title was offensive coordinator despite not being an actual offensive coordinator. Nagy was the Chiefs OC when the Bears hired him in 2018, but he had called plays for only six games. If you want me to say he was an offensive coordinator under Kansas City coach Andy Reid, then I want my title to be Grand Duke, Viscount or Caesar.
  7. I don’t want anyone who will come in and immediately call quarterback Justin Fields “special.’’ Nagy did that with Mitch Trubisky, in the face of very little evidence of specialness and growing suspicions of mediocrity. That’s not to say, at least yet, that Fields is Trubisky, but a new coach pumping up the young quarterback to Thanksgiving Day parade balloon proportions serves no one.
  8. I don’t want anyone who gushes about the general manager in ways that give you the impression that they should get a room. Nagy gushed about GM Ryan Pace in his first press conference, and Pace made goo-goo eyes back at him. My biggest fear these days, aside from an invasion of killer clowns, is that Pace will retain his job. He’s had one winning season and no postseason victories in seven years.
  9. I don’t want anyone who thinks that winning a regular-season game is worthy of a ticker-tape parade. Nagy was completely on board with “Club Dub,’’ the strobe-lighted, music-blasting party that came after each Bears’ victory. Beating the Lions should never be reason for celebration.
  10. I don’t want anyone who, for a short period, can successfully call a few trick plays but hasn’t the foggiest how to design an offense for the long haul.
  11. I don’t want anyone who reminds us weekly that his players care. That’s been Nagy’s message for most of this miserable season, as if caring about one’s job were the equivalent of pulling a sword from a stone.
  12. I don’t want anyone who thinks the Bears’ long history is what’s important about the Bears. Every three or four years, the McCaskeys unveil a new coach who can’t stop talking about the franchise’s tradition, because he knows that’s what ownership wants. You can read about the team’s only Super Bowl title in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The NFL is about winning NOW. So are Bears fans.
  13. I don’t want anyone who thinks the Bears are in fine shape. They need a coach who sees a messed-up organization in desperate need of a few thousand volts of electricity.
  14. I don’t want anyone who says, “There’s a good thing going here right now,’’ after a 6-11 season, as Nagy did after Sunday’s game.
  15. I don’t want anyone who has even the slightest idea of what “Be You” means. Maybe that should have been No. 1.