The Chicago Bears hired Matt Nagy in 2018 — and it has been quite the roller coaster since.
The franchise is in the market for a new head coach after firing the former Coach of the Year a day after the 2021 season finale. Here’s a look back at Nagy’s Bears career.
Jan. 8, 2018: Nagy hired as the franchise’s 16th head coach
Why did the Bears pick Matt Nagy? He fit the quarterback-centric profile GM Ryan Pace desired as part of his master plan for quarterback Mitch Trubisky to return the team to relevance after four consecutive double-digit-loss seasons.
“Matt’s a proven leader,” Pace said Jan. 9, 2018. “He’s a winner. He’s intelligent. He’s innovative. He has strong character. He has a great family, and he shares the same passion for the game that I have.”
Pace emphasized that Nagy’s leadership qualities superseded his quarterback expertise as the main factor in the decision to hire him for the first head-coaching role of his career. Not that they are entirely separated.
Nagy had never been a head coach, and his NFL play-calling experience was limited to the Kansas City Chiefs’ final five regular-season games in 2018 and their 22-21 home wild-card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. Coach Andy Reid turned over play-calling duties to Nagy because the offense was slumping — the Chiefs then averaged 28.6 points per game in the five regular-season games he called. But the Chiefs blew a 21-3 halftime lead in their playoff loss.
The Bears also interviewed then-Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Minnesota Vikings coordinators Pat Shurmur and George Edwards and Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.
Sept. 9, 2018: Nagy’s 1st game with the Bears — and it’s against the Green Bay Packers
Nagy’s debut as Bears coach threw him right into the middle of the NFL’s longest-running rivalry.
But this one stung — and Nagy and fans who were worked into a frenzy for the start of a new era will not forget it anytime soon. They shouldn’t, either, after Randall Cobb scored on a 75-yard touchdown catch and run with 2:13 remaining and the Bears found a new and unusual way to lose to Aaron Rodgers.
The Bears had complete control at Lambeau Field in Nagy’s nationally televised debut. The crowd of 78,282 was lustily booing as the Packers headed to the locker room at halftime. That’s because the Bears led 17-0, their largest halftime lead over the Packers in any game — home or away — since Dec. 7, 1980.
The Bears hadn’t coughed up a lead and choked away a game like that in an awfully long time either. There’s no other way to describe what happened after they went from leading 20-0 late in the third quarter to falling on their face in a 24-23 loss.
“We’ve got to really have that finish mentality,” Nagy said. “We can’t talk about it. We’ve got to do it, everybody included.”
Sept. 17, 2018: Club Dub opens as Nagy picks up his 1st win
Chicago’s hottest club is Club Dub.
This place has everything: a light machine, blasting beats, dozens of dancing football players ranging from 165 to 330 pounds, and the special ingredient to the Bears’ sudden success.
Call it fun or camaraderie, unity or pizazz. The Bears’ dance parties after their victories have come to embody what Nagy’s team is all about.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Trubisky said with a smile. “You guys are missing out.”
Club Dub opened after Nagy’s 1st win as Bears coach — a 24-17 victory at Soldier Field over the Seattle Seahawks. Cornerback Prince Amukamara presented the coach with the game ball to celebrate his 1st NFL victory as a head coach.
“It feels good,” Nagy said. “For me, though — and I mean this — it’s just more about us. It’s just so neat to start here from my first team meeting and meeting all the guys and seeing us grow. So I’m just really looking forward to the future of this team.”
Sept. 30, 2018: Mitch Trubisky’s 6 TD game
Trubisky threw 6 touchdown passes to drive the Bears to a 48-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field. Trubisky (354 yards, 154.6 rating) became the first Bears quarterback to throw six in a game since Johnny Lujack cracked open a six-pack on the Chicago Cardinals on Dec. 14, 1949, at Wrigley Field.
The win also gave the Bears their first three-game winning streak since September 2013.
It was Trubisky’s best start with the Bears — and showed what the potential could be with Nagy’s offense.
Dec. 9, 2018: Nagy’s bag of trick plays
Nagy decided long ago that when he became a head coach, he would try to energize his team with gadget plays, some of which deploy unconventional personnel.
Use a defensive end as a running back. Put two quarterbacks in the backfield for a forward-toss play. Have three players touch the football before throwing it.
Let the players name them, such as “Santa’s Sleigh,” “Freezer Left,” “Willy Wonka” and “Oompa Loompa.” Not by chance did three of those plays result in touchdowns in the 2018 season.
“You see the excitement on the players,” Nagy said. “I don’t know … if they think, ‘This coach is crazy,’ or if they think that, ‘No, this is pretty good.’ But … if you have a ‘why’ behind why you do it, then it makes sense.”
Dec. 16, 2018: Playoff drought ends for Bears
There were T-shirts and ball caps handed out to celebrate the Bears’ first NFC North crown in eight years but no Gatorade bath for Nagy.
When the clock expired at Soldier Field, Nagy strode to midfield, where he greeted interim Packers coach Joe Philbin and then Bears all-time nemesis Rodgers, who had won his last eight starts in the stadium.
Nagy did it with a dry navy team jacket and his customary visor, which he soon traded for a division champs cap. The 24-17 victory locked up the division and a playoff spot, completing a remarkable worst-to-first turnaround. It gave the Bears a 7-1 record at home, their best since they had the same record in 2005, achieving Nagy’s stated goal of protecting home turf.
The Bears improved to 10-4, making Nagy the team’s winningest first-year head coach since George Halas went 10-1-2 in 1920. As a bonus for Nagy, he got to exit the field without taking a soaking, a sign that A) no one on the sideline thought about it or B) the Bears are looking ahead to a grander occasion.
“We’re saving that,” left tackle Charles Leno said. “We were a little too juiced. We were just trying to finish the game because we have seen some crazy things happen in Bears vs. Packers here so we wanted to see :00 on the clock.”
“We’re growing and we’re peaking at the right time,” inside linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “Heading into the playoffs, that’s when we need to peak and play our best ball.”
Jan. 6, 2019: The pain of the double doink
Cody Parkey did what has become an impossible trick turned nightmare for the Bears in the wild-card playoff loss to the Eagles. His 43-yard field goal attempt clanked off the left upright, fell in what appeared to be super-slow motion, banked off the crossbar and then bounced back toward the field of play.
“You can’t make this up,” Parkey said.
NBC cameras caught Nagy and Trubisky expressionless on the sideline, much the same way the crowd of 60,138 at Soldier Field was left after the Eagles, the sixth seed in the NFC, knelt down and left Soldier Field with a 16-15 victory.
The Bears, who proved naysayers wrong in a major way by not just going from worst to first in the NFC North but posting a 12-4 record, saw their season end by a matter of inches in the cruelest of ways.
“When you lose,” Nagy said, “the next day, it’s like a bomb hits and everyone is gone.”
Feb. 2, 2019: Coach of the Year honors
A worst-to-first turnaround earned Nagy the NFL Coach of the Year Award.
The rookie head coach — who cut short a vacation to Saint Lucia with his wife, Stacey, to celebrate their anniversary in order to attend the NFL Honors event — earned 24 votes from a nationwide panel of Associated Press media members who regularly cover the league. The Los Angeles Chargers’ Anthony Lynn finished second with 10 votes.
Bears players trusted Nagy’s offensive acumen and aggressive nature in guiding them to a 12-4 record and the team’s first NFC North title and playoff appearance since 2010. It was the most victories in franchise history for a first-year coach.
Nagy is the first Bears coach to win the honor since Lovie Smith in 2005 after a similar worst-to-first turnaround. Three other Bears coaches have been honored: Dick Jauron in 2001, Mike Ditka in 1988 and ‘85 and Halas in ‘65 and ‘63.
June 7, 2019: Nagy goes ‘boom’ at the Bears100 celebration
A year ago Nagy was just a relatively unknown rookie head coach trying to revive a franchise that had spent four consecutive seasons in last place. Now? He’s the reigning NFL Coach of the Year, a division champion and a charismatic rising star in a football-crazed city that believes he’s positioned to take the Bears back to glory.
He was reminded of how all of that will change the expectations and the pressure from fans this year.
“You know what they want,” he acknowledged. “You think there’s pressure? Of course there is. But we like pressure. Let’s go get this thing.”
With that, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center erupted as the franchise kicked off its three-day Bears100 Celebration Weekend.
Training camp 2019: Remember that kicking competition?
The group was whittled down to three main contenders: Eddy Pineiro, Elliott Fry and Chris Blewitt.
“Augusta silence” was one of several twists Nagy designed — you know how still and quiet the gallery is when Tiger Woods putts at Augusta National Golf Club? The Bears coach demanded the same “eerie” decorum when any of the three kickers lined up.
Blewitt was waived in June. It came a day after he, Pineiro and Fry all missed kicks at practice from just beyond 40 yards. Following that practice, Nagy expressed his frustration and impatience.
“Whatever went through your mind went through my mind,” Nagy said of those three consecutive misses. “They are being evaluated not just by (the media), not just by me but by their teammates. Again, do you make it or do you miss it?”
At training camp, Pace said of the 2-man race: “To be honest, it’s even. It’s close. That’s why we’re excited.” Both Pineiro and Fry performed well in front of the Bourbonnais crowds, but in the end, the job went to Pineiro.
Pineiro started the season strong with a 53-yard field goal as time expired to give the Bears a 16-14 win over the Denver Broncos.
“This was an emotional kick,” Pineiro said. “From all of the stuff I’ve been through: The whole kicking situation. The ‘Augusta silence.’ ‘Do we have a kicker? Don’t we have a kicker?’ The media and everybody just piling in. It was an amazing moment.”
October and November 2019: Questionable calls and a rough start
A 17-16 loss to the Chargers on Oct. 27 sent the Bears to their 3rd straight defeat — and maybe most dizzying yet. Nagy was left to answer for his debatable decision to take a knee with 43 seconds remaining rather than running a play or maybe two to improve the Bears’ field position.
Pineiro — who didn’t want the ball on the left hash — missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt wide left as time expired. He went 3-for-5 on field-goal attempts during the day, also missing his first attempt in the first quarter. The Bears got the ball at their 35-yard line with 1:33 to play. But rather than try to advance farther down the field, Trubisky took a knee to set up Pineiro’s field-goal attempt.
“I’m not even going to get into that,” Nagy said. “I had zero thought of running the ball. I’m not taking the chance of fumbling the football. They know you’re running the football, so you lose 3 or 4 yards. So that wasn’t even in our process as coaches to think about that.”
A few games later, Nagy made an executive decision to pull the plug on Trubisky late in the fourth quarter of a 17-7 loss in prime time on Nov. 18 to the Los Angeles Rams.
“For whatever reason,” legendary NBC play-by-play announcer Al Michaels said, “here’s Chase Daniel.”
It was all part of an up and down (mostly down) year for the quarterback and Nagy’s offense.
Dec. 22, 2019: Season ends with a massive thud
The Bears offense versus the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes was a lopsided result — a humiliating, in-person reminder that the franchise-defining choice of Mitch Trubisky over Mahomes turned out so very wrong.
An hour after the nationally televised game, Pace was still trending nationally on Twitter. The Bears GM who oversaw the Trubisky selection was the butt of jokes and target of vitriol as Trubisky sputtered and Mahomes brought his playmaking magic to the city that longingly watches him from afar each week.
“That’s not how we want to finish our last home game at Soldier Field,” Trubisky said. “We just left a lot of plays out there and a lot of uncharacteristic things that you’re embarrassed of.”
The problem, though, is that so much of how the Bears played was characteristic of this lost season.
It wasn’t just Trubisky either. From Nagy on down, the Bears looked like a beaten-down team in what was such a contrast to the night of the home opener, moments before the NFL’s 100th season began.
2020: The COVID-19 offseason and NFL draft
Nagy dubbed the 2020 NFL season “the year of the contingency plan” as the Bears prepared for any and all COVID-19 issues.
The Bears, who had the benefit of an expanded Halas Hall to maximize social distancing, were among the better teams in the NFL in avoiding big disruptions. Two clusters of positive tests — among offensive linemen in November and practice-squad players in December — caused the Bears to temporarily close their facilities. But league contact tracing each time cleared them to return to practice fairly quickly.
Nagy needed something to break up the monotony of the two-month virtual offseason, so he enlisted the help of some big-name players and coaches. He kept most of his guest speakers a public secret, but one revealed himself in the offseason. Clippers coach Doc Rivers, a Chicago native and Bears fan, told the Los Angeles Times he was “jacked up” to speak to his hometown team.
The Bears took Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet at No. 43 — and as was the case in 2020, technology caused a slight delay on his big night.
Sept. 27, 2020: Nagy benches Trubisky
Less than a month after going to great lengths to explain how Trubisky won the training camp competition with Nick Foles, Nagy benched Trubisky with 9:58 remaining in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons.
Trubisky overthrew a pair of deep shots before halftime and threw an interception that led to a Falcons field goal and a 16-point lead. Foles stepped in and engineered a comeback for a 30-26 win on the road.
Trubisky later openly admitted he didn’t have an easy time moving into the backup role, saying he was “caught off guard.”
“At the beginning of the season I was just starting to build some momentum, and then it kind of felt like a blind side, and then I had to embrace a new role,” Trubisky said. “The first couple days, it sucked being in that role, but I was trying to just continue to keep perspective and think long term. I want to play in this league a long time, and if I want to do that there’s things that I just need to continue to get better at. At that point, I just changed my mindset to embrace practice.”
After the QB switch, Pace said he has ultimate faith in Nagy when it comes to handling the quarterback situation: “You know, 100% trust and confidence in Matt, and those decisions are sensitive and delicate. Matt has got a great feel for what the team needs.”
Oct, 27, 2020: Brian Griese stirs the pot?
After a 24-10 road loss to the Rams, the relationship between Foles and Nagy was in the spotlight thanks to comments relayed to the prime-time audience by ESPN announcer Brian Griese.
“We were talking to Nick Foles yesterday,” Griese said on the broadcast, “and he said: ‘You know, sometimes play calls come in, and I know that I don’t have time to execute that play call. And you know, I’m the one out here getting hit. Sometimes the guy calling the plays, Matt Nagy, he doesn’t know how much time there is back here.’ So that’s something that they have to get worked out.”
Griese’s comments ignited questions on social media about a potential disconnect between Nagy and Foles. But Foles, who watched a clip of Griese’s comments before attending his postgame news conference, said there was a miscommunication between him and Griese, a former Bears quarterback.
“Coach Nagy and I have a great relationship and I would never say anything like that,” Foles said. “I can see how it would be taken that way.”
Griese’s comments came late in the fourth quarter with the Bears offense in total disarray in the loss. The Bears went without an offensive touchdown in 11 possessions. Foles was sacked four times, hit on eight other occasions and threw two interceptions.
Nov. 13, 2020: Nagy hands over play-calling duties
Handing over play-calling duties never was going to be Nagy’s first impulse. But he made the move — with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor stepping in.
“It’s just kind of where we’re at,” Nagy said. “You get a feel and you understand, OK, this is where our offense is at right now and we’ve been struggling. And for different reasons. I don’t think it’s one particular reason. But if there’s something that can help spark us (let’s try it).”
The Bears were at a pivotal point in their season. The 5-1 cushion they built was now 5-4 — putting them outside the NFC playoff picture. The offense ranked 29th in total yardage (317.8 ypg), last in rushing (82.3 ypg) and 31st in yards per play (4.81).
“We need to do what’s best for us, not what’s best for Matt Nagy,” Nagy said. “That’s where I’m at. I’m excited about it.”
Lazor’s debut did not go well, to put it mildly. Against the Packers on Nov. 29, the Bears offense totaled 149 yards, averaging 3 yards per play, and didn’t score a touchdown. It went three-and-out on four straight drives in the second half and finished 2-for-11 on third-down conversions and 0-for-2 on fourth-down conversions.
December 2020: Nagy turns back to Trubisky
With the chance to start again after Foles’ hip injury and an offensive reboot attempt by the coaching staff, Trubisky lost his first two games back — Green Bay and Detroit — in demoralizing fashion.
But then the Bears won three straight with their former No. 2 pick leading the way.
“Mentally I don’t feel like I can be fazed right now, just with where my focus is at,” he said. “And that has nothing to do with how you’re going to perform or (your) outcomes or results. But I just think with where I’m at mentally, I’m focused. I know exactly what I want. I’m driven. I’m bringing a certain presence and energy to the facility every day that my teammates can feed off.”
The six-word conclusion: “I’m in a good place mentally.”
In a 36-7 drubbing of the Houston Texans, Trubisky completed 24 of 33 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears scored touchdowns on seven of eight red-zone opportunities in the last two weeks, and Trubisky’s play, combined with a suddenly productive running game, had at least temporarily revived a season that appeared shot after a six-game losing streak.
January 2021: A loss — but a playoff berth — and then another loss
The 8-8 Bears lost to the Packers 35-16 in the regular season finale … but still advanced to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
It was the Bears’ second loss to the NFC North champion Packers in a little more than a month. Trubisky completed 33 of 42 passes for 252 yards with no touchdowns.
And in that playoff game against the New Orleans Saints — which was also broadcast on Nickelodeon — the Bears lost 21-9 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. They backed into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the first year of the expanded postseason, and they closed out the season losing eight of their final 11 games, playoffs included. Their only victory over a team that finished with a winning record came against the Buccaneers on Oct. 8.
A Bears offense that had a December resurgence against some of the worst defenses in the NFL was held to 239 yards — 99 of them coming on the last meaningless touchdown drive — and didn’t find the end zone until the final play of the game against a Saints defense that ranks among the top five in the league in several categories.
And in his last start in a Bears uniform, Trubisky completed 19 of 29 passes for 199 yards and a 19-yard touchdown to Jimmy Graham as time expired. But he was awarded the Nickelodeon Valuable Player award … so … yeah.
After losing eight of the last 11 games, how do the Bears feel like the program is moving in a positive direction?
“When you look at it that way and you say you lost this many heading into the end of it, I think what we need to do as a staff is we’ve got to say, ‘Why is that? Where is it? And how do we get better?’” Nagy said. “Every year is different, and you look at this right now, and I think identity-wise as an offense, you guys could see we felt like we created an identity. But how do we learn from that? Well, part of it is you see that in games like today, no matter what your identity is, you’ve always got to be able to run the football. You have to be able to do that.
“And when I say that, you might not run for 150 yards in the game, but you’re going to have a lot more second-and-5s and second-and-4s and second-and-3s, which then keeps you out of the third-and-longs. Third-and-longs versus any defense, let alone this defense, is hard. What we need to do in the next couple weeks is really start figuring out, OK, where are we? How do we get better? We know this isn’t good enough. What we need to do is do everything we can to be able to win a Super Bowl. That’s the goal. The goal’s not to make the playoffs.”
Jan. 13, 2021: Stop, ‘collaborate’ and listen
After their playoff exit, the Bears brass held a news conference about the decision to keep Pace and Nagy — and it was a blowout.
“Ryan and Matt are men of character,” chairman George McCaskey said. “They are both, like Ted (Phillips), outstanding leaders. I’ve been most impressed with how well they collaborate.”
“When you can collaborate and trust each other and you have the ability to challenge each other and come out united, you stand a better chance to make more right decisions than wrong ones,” Phillips added. “Those are the strong leadership skills both Ryan and Matt possess.”
“When you go into selecting a quarterback or acquiring a quarterback, whatever we do at that position — and everything is on the table — I go back to what you just said, the collaborative relationship that Matt and I have,” Pace said. “Why do we feel strong about getting that position right? It goes back to that, the connected vision. I feel like when we identified what we are going to do at a position, no different than anything else, it’s a collaborative effort — free agency, trade draft. But I just have a ton of confidence attacking it together.”
Pace’s inability to get the position right — first signing Mike Glennon, then drafting Trubisky and finally trading for Foles — arguably is the biggest reason the Bears are stuck in a funk of mediocrity.
“The thing that we’re very much looking forward to, and feel very positive about, is, again, a collaboration between Ryan and Matt,” McCaskey said.
It was a head-scratching news conference after a head-scratching season.
March-September 2021: Andy Dalton arrives, then Justin Fields — but starting QB questions remain
Andy Dalton wasn’t much of a consolation prize to the fan base, not when there were those Russell Wilson rumors (remember those?). Still, the Bears propped him up on social media as “QB1,” but only because it was far less sexy to send out a tweet and a picture of Dalton with the caption “Placeholder.”
The Bears, who likely were attracted to the veteran’s experience, accuracy and decision-making, made the practical but uninspiring move with a one-year, $10 million contract. With the signing, Foles shifted to the backup job, a year after the Bears traded for him.
“When you go through it with our scouts and coaches, he can handle the drop-back game, he can handle the RPOs, the play actions, the movements,” Pace said of Dalton. “And we just felt, as we went through those free-agent quarterbacks, he’s one of the more complete quarterbacks that we evaluated in free agency, and we’re excited to have him.”
And then the first round of the NFL draft happened. The main avenue would take Pace on a journey up the draft board to select a quarterback. If that became unrealistic, the Bears had designs on either trading up to address another significant need — likely at offensive tackle, receiver or cornerback — or staying put at No. 20.
The Bears got exactly what they wanted, engineering a trade with the New York Giants, leaping up nine spots and selecting Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Just like that, the franchise snagged its newest quarterback of the future.
“We knew there was going to be a sweet spot for us to be in that quarterback world,” Pace said. “And right in this area was kind of it. It just required a little bit of patience to get to that point.”
Even with the Fields excitement, Dalton was locked in and Nagy named him the Week 1 starter.
“I knew the situation I was going into regardless of whether they drafted somebody or if they didn’t,” Dalton said. “I was on a one-year deal and I was going to be the starter. So my mindset didn’t have to change.”
In the 34-14 season-opening loss to the Rams, Fields was on the field for five snaps. Two passes, two handoffs and a third-quarter read-option run that he turned into his first touchdown. It was all part of the Bears’ plan for their quarterback of the future, a backup role that also allowed him to see a bit of live action.
Dalton played about as expected in the lopsided loss, throwing for 322 total yards … but also a costly interception in the end zone on the opening series.
As for Trubisky (remember him?), he went to the Buffalo Bills on a one-year, $2.5 million deal to be their backup QB.
Sept. 26, 2021: Fields makes his 1st NFL start — and it’s bumpy. As is what followed.
Naming Fields the starting quarterback for Week 3 wasn’t in the Bears’ plans, but Dalton’s left knee injury forced the team’s hand. It was the earliest a rookie quarterback started for the Bears since Kyle Orton in Week 1 of 2005.
Still, Nagy asserted that “when Andy is healthy, our plan continues for him to be the starter.”
Fields’ starting debut was rough: He completed 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards and was sacked 9 times (and hit 15 times). And there was this review from backup Foles that cameras caught. Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo reminded the rookie after the loss to the Cleveland Browns that it was just the beginning of his climb, telling him: “Just trust me, there’s going to be a lot of better days than today in your career. We learn from it and we move on.”
And Fields did in his second start, a 24-14 win over the Lions: 11 of 17 passes completed for 209 yards, including passes of 64 and 32 yards to Darnell Mooney and 28 and 27 yards to Allen Robinson.
Yet Nagy wasn’t ready to say if Fields will get another starting opportunity … until he reversed course a day later for the Week 5 game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Not only for that game and not just until Dalton was fully healthy. For the rest of the season and beyond.
Fields was so unfazed, in fact, that he turned down an invitation from his parents to go out and celebrate.
“I’m trying to win this weekend,” Fields said. “So I was just home with my dog, Uno, watching film.”
And he did, completing 12 of 20 passes for 111 yards in a win over the Raiders and his first career touchdown pass, a 2-yarder to Jesper Horsted.
In the middle of all of this was a burning question: Who was calling the plays for Fields — offensive coordinator Bill Lazor or Nagy? After the win over the Lions, Nagy added to his praise of Lazor with a few confusing and somewhat awkward footnotes.
“Ultimately it goes through me,” he said. “Everything we do, regardless of who’s calling this or who’s calling that, it goes through me.”
Nagy added that he wouldn’t address any further questions on the topic, saying “I just want us to have the best opportunity to win.”
Oct. 25, 2021: Nagy tests positive for COVID-19
Nagy announced his positive test a day after the 38-3 loss to the Buccaneers. As a fully vaccinated individual, the coach needed two negative tests 24 hours apart and be without symptoms for 48 hours before he can rejoin the team.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor ran all team meetings as he did briefly in the spring and as the Bears had planned in the event anything happened to Nagy. Tabor also served as the coach for the 33-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8. Nagy continued to participate in meetings via Zoom while monitoring practice through a livestream — from an undisclosed location he would not elaborate on.
“I didn’t eat and I didn’t drink (during the game),” he said. “Nothing. I just sat there and I was nervous the whole time. I didn’t think I was going to be nervous. But I was more nervous than normal. I had no idea how it was going to go. I was writing down play-by-play what happened. You remember a lot more stuff when you write it all down and you’re able to look at it in between timeouts and stuff but it was different, really, really weird.”
Nagy was back on the sidelines for the 29-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on “Monday Night Football” in Week 9.
Nov. 23, 2021: Firing rumors set off strange day at Halas Hall
Nagy faced questions about his job security before, but never quite like this.
A published report by Patch.com reporter Mark Konkol, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 while at the Chicago Sun-Times, state Nagy had been informed the game versus the Lions on Thanksgiving would be his last.
After nearly three hours of silence from his Bears bosses, Nagy entered the Halas Hall media room at 12:01 p.m. and refuted the report during a 10-minute news conference. He said he had not spoken to McCaskey, Phillips or Pace that week and hadn’t been told he would be fired.
If Nagy was not convincing when he spoke about his future with media, he was less convincing with players later in the day. According to multiple sources, he offered little to make players believe he will be around much longer, leaving at least some players dismayed at the organization’s lack of direction.
And, oh yeah, the Bears had a game to play two days later, hoping to end a five-game losing streak. A 16-14 win over the winless Lions wasn’t impressive, but it ended the team’s 45-day stretch without a victory (and allowed the coach some much-needed relief over a long weekend).
The blizzard of rumors caused Kmet to turn off his phone.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s tough,” Kmet said of the Bears’ week. “You don’t know what’s true, what’s not. Then you see things that are true because you were there for them, and you wonder how those things get out.
“So there’s a lot of confusion in that sense. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to just block it out and go play football.”
Still, the win and denials didn’t stop “Fire Nagy!” chants from breaking out all over the city at various sporting events.
Jan. 10 2022: Nagy fired after season finale
While the move to fire Matt Nagy was expected as the losses piled up in his fourth season, GM Ryan Pace’s fate after seven years in his role seemed less clear over the last month. Both were ousted a day after the season finale.
In Nagy’s first stint as an NFL head coach, his teams went 34-31, including a 12-4 record, an NFC North title and a playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in his first season in 2018. Nagy was named the NFL Coach of the Year after that season.
But the Bears didn’t put together a winning season in his next three, including back-to-back 8-8 campaigns in 2019 and 2020. The latter resulted in a playoff berth but ended with a dispiriting 21-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Nagy’s tenure was marked by lengthy losing streaks in each of his last three seasons, including a five-game skid in 2021.Nagy has had one winning season — the 12-4 run to the NFC North title in 2018 — and two 8-8 seasons.
Source: Berkshire mont