Chicago Bears: Matt Patricia firing should send message to Ted Phillips

Chicago Bears (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

Matt Patricia was relieved of his duties in Detroit, so why doesn’t the Chicago Bears brass take a hint?

Over the past two and a half seasons, the Chicago Bears have had a rollercoaster of a ride under head coach Matt Nagy. The honeymoon was romantic, after Chicago won the NFC North in 2018. But, since then, Chicago has taken a turn for the worse.

In the same year Nagy was hired, the Detroit Lions hired former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Coming to the Lions, Patricia was supposed to toughen those guys up and instill a similar style of play he saw in New England. After all, he came from a strong defensive club in the Patriots who simply had to “do their job” to be great.

Well, two and a half years in and the Lions have been mediocre at best. Saturday, Detroit’s brass made the decision to fire both Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn.

The hilarious aspect of Detroit’s firing is how similar the Bears’ current situation is with Nagy.

Look at the facts. Patricia was brought to Detroit as a defensive mind. He was going to straighten their defense out and get them back to playing hard-nosed, disciplined football.

Under Patricia, the Lions have ranked as follows in total defense:

2020 (so far): 27th

2019: 31st

2018: 10th

This isn’t exactly what you’d like to see from a so-called defensive guru like Patricia.

Let’s check in on the Bears’ offense under Nagy during the same time frame:

2020 (so far): 31st

2019: 29th

2018: 21st

There are some remarkable similarities between Nagy and Patricia when looking at their tenure. At least Patricia’s Lions were respectable on defense during his first season there. The Bears’ offense was bottom-half in Nagy’s inaugural season with Chicago, and he was hired as a renown “offensive genius.”

Patricia came from the Bill Belichick tree. Maybe Patricia’s performance coaching on his own is a reflection of just how great Belichick was and still is. Nagy coached under Andy Reid, and in a similar fashion, his coaching in Chicago proves just how good Reid has been in the NFL.

Patricia and Nagy are great examples of why you don’t always trust the tree. Sure, some competent coaches come from great coaching legacies like Belichick and Reid. But, Patricia and Nagy have not been part of that prestigious group.

Detroit’s ownership had enough of both Patricia and Quinn, so they ended the duo’s tenure with the Lions. If Ted Phillips had an intelligent bone in his body, he would take a hint.

Nagy has been horrific in multiple facets of coaching. Whether it’s his play-calling, how he handles accountability with his players (or lack thereof) or his stubbornness to change philosophies, Nagy’s seat in Chicago is getting hotter by the week.

By the same note, general manager Ryan Pace’s job should be on the line. He’s failed miserably at the most important position in professional sports — and he’s done it three times!

Signing Mike Glennon, trading up to draft Mitchell Trubisky and trading for Nick Foles — all have proven to be cringe-worthy. This team has a championship-caliber defense, but the offense can barely tie their collective shoes.

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I applaud Lions CEO and President Rod Wood for making the decision for drastic change. Lions fans should be looking ahead to better times in hopes that the team puts the right men in place going forward. Meanwhile, Bears fans continue to be rotting in quarterback purgatory while this franchise strives for average at best, year-in and year-out.