After an entire offseason, training camp, and four regular season games, it's official. Justin Fields is the unquestioned starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears. After the announcement was officially made on Wednesday by head coach Matt Nagy, many were left with feelings of joy, relief, and excitement.
After all, beginning a new chapter can be one of the most exciting moment in sports, especially when it concerns a potential franchise cornerstone. However, there's still one glaring issue on the horizon. Will a great season from Fields be enough to save Matt Nagy's job in Chicago?
The Right Question
Maybe that isn't the right question to ask. A better question would be, "do we want Matt Nagy's job to be saved?" No self-respecting Bears fan would ever root against their own team, but it's a fair question to ask. While it's easy to be excited for the immediate and long-term impact Justin Fields brings to the offense, the number one priority needs to be surrounding him with the correct talent. That includes the correct man in charge to maximize Fields' potential.
Whether or not fans think Nagy is that guy, he has about 13 games to prove he can be. It's not hard to see that his job in Chicago has been at a standing eight-count for awhile now, but he almost certainly bought himself some time after last week's win against Detroit. Nagy's ability to step aside and let his coaching staff do their job is a step in the right direction. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo produced a solid offensive game plan against the Lions, showcasing the running game and their young quarterback's ability to move the pocket in the win.
The good vibes quickly turned sour when Nagy couldn't help but pat himself on the back. In the postgame press conference, he couldn't resist mentioning that "the offense still runs through the head coach." He found time to credit his play-caller, but it's that type of egotistical approach that still has many rolling their eyes. It doesn't help that Nagy has played this game before, only for him to eventually take over play-calling duties once again. The results were catastrophic.
What CAN He Do?
Whether or not it's correct, Matt Nagy's best shot at saving his job is by staying out of the way. The fourth-year head coach has proven time and time again that he isn't an effective play-caller in the NFL, as that is glaring in his offensive rankings. He's proven that he can't handle too much responsibility, showcased by the circus surrounding the starting quarterback position the past two seasons. He's also proven he can't handle a locker room, just ask Nick Foles or Jimmy Graham.
However, Nagy has done an incredible job at buying goodwill with the McCaskey family. His ability to convince them that he's the man for the job is nothing short of incredible. Lesser coaches would've been fired after the disastrous 2020 season, yet Nagy still possesses an office. Fans might not want to hear this, but as long as the results on the field from Lazor's offense are positive, it shouldn't be surprising if Nagy returns in 2022. After all, he's made it this far.