Chicago Bears: Matt Nagy is the problem, not Andy Dalton

Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Since Ryan Pace hired Matt Nagy three off-seasons ago, the Chicago Bears organization has been committed to doing whatever it takes to make the former Andy Reid assistant’s offensive philosophy work to perfection. The problem is that no matter who is taking snaps for the Bears, the end result has always been the same: another dud-like performance.

The Chicago Bears have had a bad quarterback play for a very long time.

The Bears are the only team in NFL history to never have a 4,000-yard passer in a single-season. They have been in quarterback-purgatory for the longest time. Maybe it has less to do with who the actual quarterback is and more to do with who is calling and designing all the plays.

Jay Cutler was as talented as any quarterback in the game yet he struggled because the supporting cast around him wasn’t very good and he never had a reliable offensive system in place.

Mitch Trubisky, who has been treated often like the “butt of all jokes” regarding quarterback play, has plenty of talent and ability. Yet, he never seemed to form the type of bond and chemistry needed with his “now former” head coach. Nagy’s patience with Trubisky often grew thin, mainly because the young signal-caller couldn’t seem to grasp all the ins and outs of Nagy’s offense.

Only for short spurts did Nagy’s offense come to life in a pleasant manner. When Trubisky was watching the offense from the sidelines due to injury or having been benched, the offense sputtered, even with Nagy’s disciples Chase Daniel and Nick Foles playing.

Bears fans and media pundits everywhere are displeased with Ryan Pace signing former three-time Pro Bowler, Andy Dalton to a one-year deal. That’s putting it mildly. Everyone was hoping that Pace would pull a rabbit out of his hat and somehow pull off a miracle in trading for Russell Wilson. Fans were justified to be upset when those rumored trade talks fell through.

Dalton, like Trubisky and Foles, has enjoyed some NFL success. He’s not an elite quarterback yet he’s not bad by any means. Dalton has won many games with one of the weaker franchises in the league, the Cincinnati Bengals. He has had a string of playoff appearances but no wins to show for it.

The organization is banking on Dalton’s familiarity with Bears’ offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor, to help lift a teetering offense up in 2021’s make-or-break season.

Even though Nagy ultimately handed over play-calling duties to Lazor, Nagy’s fingerprints are still all over this Bears’ offense. It wouldn’t surprise many if Nagy even took over as primary play-caller in 2021 again. He has too much pride in his offense to just sit back and do nothing.

If Dalton, like Foles, struggles next season as the starter you shouldn’t blame Dalton. It would fall to the feet of Nagy. Nagy has no more excuses for his offensive philosophy not working up to par. Having four seasons is plenty of time to get an offense operating on all cylinders consistently.

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The roster has promising talent on the offensive side to at least be more competitive than what they’ve shown thus far in games. Maybe it’s been Nagy all along who has held the Bears back from greatness rather than the quarterback. It certainly feels that way, at least from the eye test.