Chicago Bears: 2021 or never for Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace

After what appeared to be a great set of draft picks for the Chicago Bears, it’s hard to get a read of what the Ryan Pace/Matt Nagy campaign is going to do next. In the last couple of days, the Bears have made moves that anyone watching preseason football just can’t seem to quite understand.

While preseason football has really been watered down and filled with roster hopefuls, it’s hard to go against guys who are out there putting up proven numbers and giving their all. After looking at the Bears roster, it’s evident they have some ground to make up in the secondary.

After this off-seasons departure of pro bowl corner, Kyle Fuller, the Bears now turn to guys like Kindle Vildor who has struggled to make plays in the secondary and rally to the ball in his 3 preseason games with the Bears.

Duke Shelley will be yet another cornerback you can hold your breath on while the ball is in the air as he also hasn’t shown any signs of greatness in this year’s pre-season affair as well as last year’s 2020 season.

Shelly, who was a 6th round pick out of Kansas State, is only listed at 5’8 and could potentially get abused deep down the field in the 21’ season. While the Bears don’t match up well on paper. it’s difficult not to question their coaching staff and front office after letting go of safety Marqui Christian.

In 3 preseason games with the Bears, Christian recorded 18 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 forced fumble for the Chicago defense.  Preseason is a time to showcase roster spot players and get a feel for where certain guys can help.

It’s not making sense as to how a guy with this much production cannot make the roster on a team that has been struggling defensively for the past 2 seasons. On the other side of the ball, in the past 2 seasons, the Bears have finished 22nd and 29th in points while also under Matt Nagy’s supposed amazing offensive scheme ranked 26th and 29th in yards.

In 2020, the Bears ranked 22nd in passing. In 2019, the Bears were even worse in the passing game ranking 25th. While the Bears went out and got guys like Marquise Goodwin and Damiere Byrd to play alongside the Bears’ top two receivers in Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, it never hurts to have depth at the wide receiver position.

The Bears released Javon Wims who is a player who hasn’t produced and who has been a team distraction during his tenure in Chicago. They also released Riley Ridley who would have trouble in a turtle race.

Do we have to ask ourselves why would the Bears release Rodney Adams? In 3 preseason games with the Bears, Adams caught 10 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. With the way the Bears are handling things, it’s hard to distinguish if they are keeping players who produce at camp and in the preseason or if they have some sort of pre-determined agenda for the direction they are trying to head in.

Another question mark comes with the quarterback play. Prematurely on August 21st, head coach Matt Nagy announced Andy Dalton as the team’s starting quarterback. Why would he do this before evaluating what he has in his 1st round pick Justin Fields? Nagy claims it’s to ease Fields into the offense and allow him to watch and learn from the guys ahead of him.

The Chicago Bears really need to have a good year for their management team’s sake.

Could Nagy possibly think Dalton gives the Bears as a team their best opportunity to win football games or is he trying to hide Fields on the bench for week one?  That is a game that takes place on the road in primetime on Sunday night football against a Rams team who has top-tier defenders.

Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are players that some would argue is the league’s most premier cornerback and pass defender. It’s now or never for the Nagy/Pace team. I’m interested to see how long they will go with Dalton knowing they have a 6’3, 230-pound quarterback on the bench who possesses 4.4 speed with a rocket for an arm.

My guess, it won’t be long before we see Justin Fields under center for the Bears. As a staff, they are in desperation mode, and just like all the fans they too know that it’s Fields or bust if they are going to have a chance to compete with the Green Bay Packers to win the North. Pre-season and roster cuts are final so the Bears will have to play with what they got. They go into LA a 7.5 point dog to open their 2021’ season.