LAKE FOREST, Ill (WGN)— For some, it’s become a matter of if instead of when, but a report on Wednesday morning made it seem like the Bears would make an on-field leadership change sooner than later.
Per a report from Mark Konkol of Patch on Tuesday morning, the Bears have already informed Matt Nagy that Thursday’s game against the Lions would be his last as head coach.
During his Tuesday afternoon news conference, Nagy was asked immediately about the report and quickly denied it.
“That is not accurate,” said Nagy of the report. “I have great communication with ownership, with George (McCaskey) and Ted (Phillips) and Ryan (Pace) but I have not had any discussions.”
Due to the short week, the head coach said that he’s not talked to Phillips or McCaskey like he normally would, but Nagy wouldn’t answer if he’s been given assurance by management that he’ll remain the coach for the rest of the 2021 season.
“Again, my focus right now is on these players and on Detroit, that’s it,” said Nagy when asked directly if he’s been told he’ll be the coach the rest of the season. “I think that’s my job as a head coach and a leader is to do that.”
The head coach’s job status has been in question since the 2020 season when the Bears had a six-game losing streak after a 5-1 start while their offense continued to sputter. A late rally to get to 8-8 and a playoff berth as the seventh seed helped him return for a fourth season.
But struggles have returned once again for the Bears as October and November have seen a downturn in performance. After going to 3-2 on the season after a win over the Raiders on October 10th, the Bears have lost five consecutive games, including a 16-13 decision to the Ravens at Soldier Field on Sunday to fall to 3-7.
Chants of “Fire Nagy” rained down from the Soldier Field stands as fan’s ire has turned toward the head coach who led the team to the 2018 NFC North championship but has struggled ever since. After posting a 12-4 record that season, the Bears are 19-24 since then, with their offense never able to reach the level hoped when he was hired to replace John Fox in January of 2018.
Currently, the team is 29th in points scored and 31st in yards gained, which has been the story for the last three seasons for the team.
Yet firing Nagy before the end of the season would be a drastic move for the franchise based on their history, since they’ve never let a coach got in the middle of the season before. The only situation where a coach left midseason was 1942, when George Halas reported for service in World War II with the United States Navy.
Even if a move isn’t made Thursday, speculation will continue the rest of the season as a chance to make the postseason has faded over the past month. Nagy’s said he’s prepared to deal with those questions as they continue from now through January.
“I understand the media world and the social media world in general and I understand that goes on as we’re going on inside the building,” said Nagy. “For us, you can’t focus on that, you have to stay focused on what you do every day, which is football, the ‘X’s and O’s’ and all of that. It’s important to do that.”
More important now for the coach than at any time in his tenure in Chicago.