Bears: Nagy, not Pace, should make call on next QB

Chicago Bears (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears under performed in 2019, in large part due to regression at the Quarterback position. With Mitchell Mitchell Trubisky’s status for 2021 looming, should Ryan Pace be allowed to have final say on drafting or signing another signal caller?

To say that the Chicago Bears failed to live up to expectations during the 2019 NFL campaign, would be an understatement. The Bears, who made the playoffs in 2018 after posting a 12-4 regular season record and winning the NFC North Division crown, ended the season at 8-8. The team has failed to make the postseason in four out of the five seasons that General Manager Ryan Pace has been at the helm.

Many experts and pundits correctly conclude that the Bears regressed across the board in all three phases of the game. The defense, led by new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano, did not perform to the expectation set by the 2018 unit, which led the NFL in takeaways.

Special teams, particularly the kicking game, continued to cost the team winnable games, as evidenced by a gut wrenching loss earlier in the season to the LA Chargers. Make no mistake however, the offense, as is usually the case for Chicago football, was the real culprit behind this season’s demise.

The 2019 season saw Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky significantly regress in year two of Head Coach Matt Nagy’s offense. The former second overall pick from the University of North Carolina struggled right out of the gate against Green Bay in week one and never seemed to be able to build any consistency or rhythm throughout the season.

It appears that Nagy has his work cut out for him, with Pace declaring that Trubisky will remain the team’s starter in 2020. So much for Cam Newton or Teddy Bridgewater, Bears fans.

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Pace’s legacy in Chicago is directly tied to Trubisky’s performance. He traded a king’s ransom during the 2017 NFL Draft to move up one spot and ahead of themselves at No. 3, to take Trubisky ahead of more experienced collegiate Quarterbacks, like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.

Just prior to the draft, Pace had engineered the free agent signing of career backup Mike Glennon to he the team’s starter in 2017, declaring that he was “fired up” about that move. As hindsight now affords us, none of these moves worked out.

It’s fair for fans and pundits to question Pace’s ability to evaluate what is perhaps the most important position in all of sports. If you include him overpaying perennial backup Chase Daniel, to be yet another Quarterback whisperer and mentor to Trubisky, he is 0 for 3 at QB. This begs to question…should ownership allow Pace the opportunity to draft or sign another QB? I don’t think so. Not after whiffing this badly.

The Bears hired Nagy for his offensive prowess and ability to get the most out of a QB, despite a very small track record of him being able to do that. He gets the benefit of the doubt, however, since he was still a member of Andy Reid‘s coaching staff when Pace decided to draft an inexperienced QB from a basketball powerhouse.

Bears scouting personnel should take their marching orders from Nagy, when it comes to evaluating Quarterbacks that are better suited to run his offense. He deserves an opportunity to work with a QB of his choosing and really showcase what this team is capable of offensively.

Pace has done a decent enough job in other areas to warrant another year on the job, providing the Bears make the playoffs next year. But under no circumstances should he be allowed to even be in the room for the QB discussion. He’s too invested in Trubisky and therefore cannot be trusted to make the right choice.

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Let’s hope for the team’s sake that Trubisky can make an Alex Smith type jump in his fourth NFL season. All hoping aside, the team has to take a strong look at drafting or signing his replacement sooner than later, with Matt Nagy, not Ryan Pace leading that effort. The future of the franchise may depend on it.