Written by: John Stocco
It’s official, the honeymoon for the Bears and Matt Nagy is over. There are no more excuses, there are no more breaks, there is only putting up or shutting up, and right now the Bears are shutting up. The Bears stand at 3-4 in a stacked NFC North and an even better NFC Conference. The last thing on all of our minds right now should be the playoffs. Ultimately that’s the goal and until there is no mathematical way the Bears could make the playoffs that should be the goal, but right now the Bears have to take things week to week focusing on how to get better and how to get wins with a brutal stretch of games on the way. The book is out on Matt Nagy. He’s losing believers, he’s losing fans, and every week, just as much as Mitch Trubisky, his play calling is being examined under a microscope, and because of that, Matt Nagy has to unload everything he has in his playbook.
Believe it or not, these next nine games could be it for Mitch Trubisky as a Chicago Bears quarterback. The Bears have built a winning team that they believe in. There is big money tied up to this team on both sides of the ball. They acquired Khalil Mack and gave him one of the richest contracts in NFL history, they signed Allen Robinson, and they re-signed players like Akiem Hicks and Kyle Fuller. They have big money which leads to a tight salary cap for the next couple of seasons. At the trade deadline, people speculated on whether or not this team should shed salary and add draft capital, or make a change at quarterback by acquiring a veteran like Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, or Cam Newton. The Bears did neither and surprisingly stayed silent. It showed that this front office believes in this Bears team. My thoughts on Mitch Trubisky aside, the Bears have no choice but to stick with him until the season is officially in the books. They drafted Mitch Trubisky second overall in the draft, their highest draft pick ever, and yes, go ahead an insert a Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes joke in here. Even in a window of opportunity in this league, the Bears will give Mitch Trubisky every chance to succeed in this system. The locker room hasn’t given up faith, and the front office is still a fan of him, but everyone knows now is the time to start playing better or this team will have to look somewhere else. The same could be said for Matt Nagy. The one-time coach of the year is now looked at in a different way. Just like Mitch Trubisky, it’s been a year of regression for Matt Nagy. The running game has still been nonexistent, even with David Montgomery’s breakout game against the Chargers. Mitch Trubisky hasn’t been the quarterback the Bears expected him to be. And also the play-calling has been questioned every single week. This week starting in Philadelphia, that all needs to change. Matt Nagy has to rip off the handcuffs and call his game to the true way it should be called because the handcuffs that are on him, could end up costing his job as well as the quarterbacks.
Back at training camp, it was reported that Mitch Trubisky was having a rough training camp. It was a training camp filled with mistakes, bad accuracy, and a training camp that forced Nagy to dial back the play calling and cut out half of his plays to make it simpler and easier for Mitch Trubisky. When the news came out, fans like myself didn’t make a big deal out of it. Matt Nagy’s offense is complicated. There’s a lot of language, a lot of pre-snap movement, and it takes years to implement the offense. Maybe it was a good thing that Nagy was dialing it back and making it simpler on the players. Look at the Rams, look at the Chiefs, when you’re watching those receivers run routes, and their running scheme, it’s not rocket science. Sean McVay and Andy Reid make it simple. Matt Nagy keeping it simple could have been a good thing. Safe to say that it hasn’t. This offense ranks towards the bottom in almost every category. Cutting out half of his playbook has hurt the Bears and Matt Nagy. It’s not the “Be You” attitude that Matt Nagy preaches all the time. Now, that all has to change. If Mitch Trubisky is the franchise quarterback of this team then it’s time to take off the handcuffs and give him the chance to prove it. If Matt Nagy is this great offensive minds of the game, then it’s time for him to show it. The NFL has figured out Matt Nagy, they know all of Mitch Trubisky’s moves, and now it’s time to flip it upside down by throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at defenses. Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky are already on the hot seat. What’s there to lose?
It’s now or never for the Bears, and quite honestly there’s nothing to lose. The writing is on the wall, the playoff chances are dying every week, and it’s time to go all out. Matt Nagy needs to keep the faith in the organization, and Mitch Trubisky needs to show that he belongs.